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Crime News Family Crimes

Twins Accused Of Killing Father After Getting Into Argument Over Cats

Danielle Pamula told police that she was showering upstairs in her family home when her twin sister, Jennifer Pamula, allegedly stabbed their father Joseph Pamula with garden shears. But now both sisters are charged with first-degree domestic murder.

By Christina Coulter
Killer Motive: What Drives People To Kill?

A pair of Rhode Island twins are accused of killing their father with gardening shears following an argument about rehoming cats, police say.

Danielle Pamula, 38, was arraigned Friday on one count of domestic murder after allegedly admitting her involvement in her father's death. 

Her twin sister, Jennifer Pamula, was charged with first-degree domestic murder months ago after first responders found her unresponsive next to 70-year-old Joseph Pamula's body in the family's Woonsocket home on Jan. 30, according to court documents reviewed by WPRI-12.  

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“It was certainly, it was a violent death, that our officers immediately, when they responded into the scene, knew that they were dealing with what was going to be a homicide,” Woonsocket Police Chief Thomas Oates told NBC affiliate WJAR.

At first, Danielle told police that she was showering, then taking a nap upstairs in their Cato St. home when the fatal stabbing took place. When she came downstairs, she said, her father was dead. 

Earlier, she told police, her sister and father had been arguing over "selling the house and getting rid of 12 cats."

Jennifer, who authorities said was laid out on the floor, covered in blood, surrounded by pills and initially unresponsive, allegedly said "I had to do it" when police arrived, telling them "I can't be hurt anymore." 

Her father's body laid next to her, dead with garden shears sticking out of his neck. Oates told WPRI the man had also suffered blunt force trauma.

“There were several minor incidents between them ... disagreements over family issues,” he told the outlet. “But none of those issues rose to the level where anyone was assaulted or was violent.”

In addition to the shears, according to police reports obtained by WPRI, investigators took a saw, knives, stone fragments, a gargoyle head, clothing from both sisters and more than 50 total pieces of evidence from the home that day. 

Danielle reportedly spent the following weeks in "various facilities," according to the outlet, and allegedly told multiple workers that she had helped her sister kill their father. Although she denied her involvement on the day her dad was stabbed, investigators noted suspicious wounds on her hands when she was reinterviewed. 

“Ultimately, when confronted about matching injuries on her hand as well her as her twin sister's hand. They both had injuries in this incident, she admitted to police they had both taken part in the killing of her father,” said Jessica Villella, Special Assistant Attorney General, according to WJAR.

Then, according to WPRI, Danielle allegedly took full responsibility for her father's killing. But ultimately, she admitted that both she and her sister had taken part.

Both twins are currently being held without bail, per online jail records. Danielle's next court date is scheduled for April 7, according to WPRI.

Joseph was a warehouse worker who had been employed with Tupperware, Ann & Hope and TriLiteral, and could often be found playing guitar with one of his several bands at open mic nights, according to his obituary. Notably, his twin daughters go unmentioned in the tribute.

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