Murder in Thornbury
Today we will learn more about another Delaware County “house of horrors.”
In the process we will relive the tragic final hours of Jason Shephard and what happened to him inside the Thornbury home of Bill Smithson.
It was more than two years ago that Shephard’s body was found wrapped in sheets in the basement of Smithson’s home on Tanguy Road.
Shephard was an intern with the same firm that employed Smithson. He was from a little town in North Dakota and was here on a business trip. He never made it back home.
The prosecution says Smithson drugged Shephard, then strangled him when he rejected his sexual advances.
A third man, F. Bruce Covington, a former administrator at Saint Joseph’s University, has been charged with delivering drugs to the house, as well as lying to police, in connection with the case.
Smithson goes on trial on first-degree murder charges today in Media. He could face the death penalty if convicted.
A gag order has limited what both the prosecution and defense has been able to say about the case.
That will begin to change this morning when both sides make their opening arguments.
We will finally learn what actually happened inside that Tanguy Road home. It is not going to be pretty. And it is not going to change the heartache that Shephard’s friends and family have lived with for two years.
They will make the long, lonely journey today to sit in a courtroom and hear the excruciating details of the final moments of their loved one’s life.
Jason Shephard was 23 years old. He came to Delaware County on business and in hopes of seeing the historic sites of Philadelphia.
He made only as a far as Thornbury. Today we will learn the truth about why.