David Lee Sumney

A South Fayette Township man with a history of elder abuse in Washington County was charged Sept. 28 in the beating death of his mother.

David Lee Sumney, 30, of 172 Olde Orchard Drive, was charged with criminal homicide, robbery, theft by unlawful taking and abuse of a corpse. He has been in Allegheny County jail since Sept. 4 for receiving stolen property after he was found in possession of his mother’s jewelry, handbags and gun.

He lived on Olde Orchard with his mother, Margaret Sumney, 67, whose body was found in a second-floor bathtub Sept. 2 after police received a request to go to the home to check on the woman after she failed to answer multiple phone calls. According to the criminal complaint, the home was found to be in disarray, and investigators found blood spatter in the living room, dining room and bedroom.

Investigators later found numerous photos dated Aug. 29 and 30 on Sumney’s cellphone of the woman, bruised and bloody, in various positions throughout the home, along with photos of Sumney with what appeared to be blood on his face.

The Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s office determined she died as a result of injuries to the head, neck and torso, and her death was ruled a homicide.

A neighbor told police that on Aug. 29, he overheard an argument between a man and a woman at the Sumney residence.

Sumney had been arrested three times for assaulting his mother and his father. North Strabane police arrested him in August 2014 for hitting his mother, who was 62 at the time, in the head and face and choking her. In July 2015, North Strabane police charged Sumney with the assault of his 71-year-old father, David Lee Sumney Sr. And in November 2016, South Fayette police arrested the younger Sumney for assaulting his mother.

Sumney is being held in Allegheny County jail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Oct. 11.

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