Warren H. Pennick, 55, was given the maximum allowable penalty for third-degree murder after his guilty plea, per The Reporter. He was charged with first- and third-degree murder by police.
Guilty but mentally ill means Pennick lacks either the capacity to understand the seriousness of his crime or "to conform his conduct to the law as a result of a mental disease," per the report.
In May 2013, it was announced that prosecutors would not seek the death penalty if Pennick was convicted of first-degree murder.
Pennick's story that he told police of the reason for killing his mother is one with shines to a mercy killing—he feared he and his mother would be homeless, as they couldn't pay for repairs to their home, so he stabbed her to death and saved her from homelessness.
Pennick's lawyer told Patch that his client has suffered with a severe mental illness for 45 years.
Pennick, police said, walked into the lobby of Lansdale Police Department at 10:12 a.m. Oct. 31, picked up the intercom phone and had the following conversation with dispatcher Jason Platt:
Dispatcher: Yes, how can I help you?
Pennick: I just killed my mother.
D: ... Say again.
P: I just killed my mother
D: What? Where? Where at?
P: 635 Salford Avenue
According to the affidavit, Lansdale Officer James Owens and Detective Sgt. Mike Trail immediately spoke with Pennick in the lobby of the station.
Pennick told both officers that he stabbed his mother and pushed her down the basement steps, according to the complaint.
Owens responded to the home to check on any occupants of the home.
He, along with Officers Tim Cornelius and David Gori, entered 635 Salford Avenue through an unlocked back door.
Owens found Lorriane Pennick at the bottom of the basement stairs, lying in a pool of blood, according to the complaint.
Lorriane had cuts on her body and a large knife resting on her torso, police said.
By 10:50 a.m., Trail, along with Montgomery County Detective Lt. James McGowan, were interviewing Pennick.
At the time, Pennick had blood spots on his wristwatch band and his right sneaker, police said. Pennick's hands had fresh abrasions, police said.
Meanwhile, at 635 Salford Avenue, Montgomery County Detective Bureau Forensic Services Detective David Schanes examined Lorraine Pennick's body on the floor of the basement.
Pennick had multiple stab wounds to her torso and wrists, and a slash wound to her throat, police said.
A 7-inch knife lay on her torso.
In a nearby sink, blood evidence was found on the hot water faucet, police said.
On the floor next to the sink — a bloody paper towel, police said.
Schanes moved his search of the crime scene upstairs.
There, on the floor of Pennick's bedroom, were khaki pants and a gray sweater stained with dried blood, police said.