Jehovah’s Witness elder murders wife and mother in law in fatal stabbing

Mug shot of Leandro Barerena May 21st, 2024

On May 21st, 2024, Leandro Barberena, a 43-year-old man from Philadelphia who is a member of the Jehovah’s Witness community, was arrested on charges of murder. He is accused of fatally stabbing his wife, Alma Barberena, aged 58, and her mother, Angela Trejo, aged 75, in the basement of their residence in Crescentville.

The incident occurred when Alma went to her parent’s home on Bingham Street to help her father with a telehealth appointment. Leandro followed her armed with a knife and proceeded to stab both women multiple times, resulting in their deaths. Alma had defensive wounds on her hands.

Leandro called 911 himself about two hours later to report the stabbings. Police pronounced the mother and daughter dead at the scene at 1:45 P.M. Police quickly identified Leandro as a suspect after finding a bloody glove at the crime scene that matched a glove found in his home. Leandro also had wounds on his hands, which he claimed were from his job as a tile layer. The motive for the crime is still unclear, although there seemed to be an ongoing domestic dispute between Leandro and Alma.

Barberena has been charged with two counts of murder, tampering with physical evidence, and related crimes. He is currently being held without bail and is scheduled for a June 10 preliminary hearing, according to court documents.

One source obtained by AvoidJW confirmed that Barberena is an Elder in the Jehovah’s Witness Church and was active in the Metropolitan Witnessing work, also known as “cart witnessing.”

A former Jehovah’s Witness shared on social media that an announcement was made in Barberena’s Kingdom Hall, urging congregants not to communicate with authorities or news media regarding the matter. They also requested abstaining from mentioning Barberena’s affiliation with Jehovah’s Witnesses.

We send our condolences to the family of this tragic crime and hope they can heal from their loss in due time.

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Miss Usato

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