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Prosecutors won't seek death in case of sisters accused of killing their father

Linda Roberts, left , 61 along with her sister, Mary-Beth Tomaselli, right, 63, faces a charge of first-degree murder in the 2015 death of their father, Anthony Tomaselli, center, deputies say. [Photos courtesy of the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]
Linda Roberts, left , 61 along with her sister, Mary-Beth Tomaselli, right, 63, faces a charge of first-degree murder in the 2015 death of their father, Anthony Tomaselli, center, deputies say. [Photos courtesy of the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]
Published May 28, 2019

LARGO — Prosecutors announced Tuesday that they are not seeking the death penalty in the case against two adult sisters who are accused of killing their father.

That means if convicted of first-degree murder, Linda Roberts, 61, and Mary-Beth Tomaselli, 63, will be sentenced to life in prison.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Two sisters killed their father. They got caught after sleeping with same man, sheriff says.

The sisters, of Palm Harbor, are accused of killing their father, 85-year-old Anthony Tomaselli, back in 2015. Deputies said the elderly man suffered from dementia and told his daughters he didn't want to go to an assisted living facility. So the pair "euthanized" him, they told deputies, asphyxiating him with a rag.

They made up a story about finding him unresponsive and attempting resuscitation, according to Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri.

An autopsy was not conducted due to the man's age and health problems, Gualtieri said, and the sisters' story held up for years.

That is, until the pair became intimate with the same man, deputies said. He recorded Roberts describing what she and Tomaselli did.

Both women ultimately confessed to investigators, according to the sheriff.

Roberts appeared in court on Tuesday. Her sister was not present.

Contact Josh Solomon at jsolomon@tampabay.com or (813) 909-4613. Follow @ByJoshSolomon