WOONSOCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — The twin sisters accused of stabbing their father to death earlier this year returned to court Wednesday as a judge decides whether to release them on bail.
Jennifer and Danielle Pamula, 38, have each been charged with murder in connection with the death of 70-year-old Joseph Pamula.
Officers rushed to their Cato Street home back in January after Danielle called 911 and told the dispatcher she woke up from a nap to find her father dead on the kitchen floor with a pair of garden shears sticking out of his neck. Danielle also reportedly found her sister unconscious on the living room floor with a bottle of pills next to her.
The officers found Jennifer in the living room covered in blood and what appeared to be vomit. She was transported to the hospital to be treated for a suspected overdose.
Danielle previously told investigators that her sister and their father frequently argued over his desire to sell the house and get rid of their 12 cats.
While speaking with detectives, Danielle explained that she didn’t think anything of it when she overheard her father and sister screaming at one another from upstairs.
“I was hearing all of this screaming and yelling. It didn’t sound like anything different to me,” she recalled in the interview, which was played aloud in court Wednesday. “They were always screaming and yelling at each other.”
Danielle initially thought her father and sister had left the house following the argument, but realized what had actually happened when she ventured downstairs.
“There was blood all over the place and I followed it to see where it was coming from,” she said. “I was trying to hold it together because I’m not used to seeing this outside of a horror movie.”
“They attacked each other. It looked like it got out of hand,” she continued, tearing up at times. “All they had to do was talk to each other.”
Danielle told investigators that their relationship with their father changed when he started dating his girlfriend three years ago. She said their father’s girlfriend was trying to convince him to sell the house and move in with her.
“She screwed everything up,” Danielle said, claiming that their dad stopped paying attention to them after meeting her.
Despite initially claiming to not be involved, Danielle was arrested nearly a month later after detectives learned she had admitted to a social worker that she had a hand in her father’s death.
The sisters also reportedly told a family friend weeks prior to their father’s death that they were planning on killing him.
Dr. Alexander Chirkov, who performed Joseph’s autopsy, testified that, in addition to the garden shears, he found a steak knife lodged in his back. In total, Chirkov said Joseph suffered approximately 43 injuries, including numerous stab wounds and blows to the head.
Chirkov believes Joseph died from blood loss, but emphasized that it’s “…impossible to determine which injury was first and which was last.”
When asked whether he believed more than one person killed Joseph, Chirkov said it’s hard to tell due to the number and severity of the injuries.
The judge is weighing whether to release Jennifer and Danielle on bail. The sisters, who are scheduled to return to court later this month, are being held until a decision is made.