x

WNEP.com | News, Weather & Sports from WNEP-TV — Proud to Serve Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania

Suspect Named in Scranton Homicide

SCRANTON –Charges were filed Tuesday afternoon for a homicide in Scranton. Police accuse Joseph Thornton, 26, of killing his neighbor in December. Thornto...
joseph thornton

SCRANTON --Charges were filed Tuesday afternoon for a homicide in Scranton. Police accuse Joseph Thornton, 26, of killing his neighbor in December.

Thornton was arraigned at police headquarters Tuesday afternoon. He's accused of killing Stephanie Tyminski. The two were neighbors, and lived across the hall from each other at Valley View Estates in Scranton.

Their other neighbors have suspected Thornton since the killing happened in December.

Thornton has been behind bars for weeks, and finally Scranton police have charged him with what they always intended to: criminal homicide.

"What do you want to know? Did I do it? It's a sin against God and the highest sin," Thornton said as he was led into police headquarters.

Police say he killed Stephanie Tyminski in December.

According to court papers, Thornton had strong romantic feelings for Tyminski, who lived across the hall at Valley View Estates in south Scranton. Tyminski did not return those feelings. Police believe that may have been what drove Thornton to beat and strangle Tyminski until she died.

Tyminski's friends and fellow neighbors say they suspected that Thornton was the killer.

"You knew it, see. We both did."

Betty Webber lives at Valley View Terrace and says Thornton's arrest gives them some relief.

"The one day I spoke to him, I was walking down to my house, and of course, he was like, 'I didn't do it.' I'm like, 'OK,' thinking in the back of my head, 'you can't say it out loud.'"

Scranton police say Thornton tried to cover up the killing. They say blood had been cleaned up, and Tyminski's body had been put into the bathtub.

Weeks later, detectives found Tyminski's cell phone and other belongings miles away on the bank of Leggett's Creek in north Scranton.

"They should seek the death penalty on him. She didn't deserve that, you know, a man can overpower a woman every time. Just because she wouldn't go with him doesn't mean he had the right to kill her, if he done it," said David Godlewski.