Babysitter stabbed mom to death, blamed marijuana cookie

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FAIRVIEW TWP, PA – On Saturday, at approximately 12:24 a.m, police officers with the Rice Township Police Department, Wright Township Police Department, and Fairview Township Police Department responded to a home in Luzerne County for a report of a domestic disturbance.

Upon arrival at the scene, officers discovered Elizabeth Bennett Leonard, 41, deceased in the residence, with obvious traumatic injuries. Police immediately detained Lavarius Obrian Watson, 26, of Pocono Summit. Watson was located on the scene and detained by responding officers. The Luzerne County Coroner’s Office and Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office were requested to the scene. Based upon the seriousness of the incident, the Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office requested the Pennsylvania State Police, Troop N, Major Case Team assume the investigation.

After an investigation, Watson has since been charged with one count of criminal homicide. Watson was arraigned by Magistrate James DIXON and remanded to the Luzerne County Prison. This investigation is being conducted by the Pennsylvania State Police, Troop N, Major Case Team, and Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office with the assistance of the Rice Township Police Department.

According to the Pocono Record, Watson told investigators that he had been hired as a babysitter for Leonard’s children and the two shared a marijuana cookie. Watson claims to have had an adverse reaction to the cookie and said he remembered getting a knife from the kitchen before stabbing Leonard five times in the abdomen while her 10-year-old child was nearby.

9-1-1 audio recorded a visibly upset Watson, who said, “Why did I do that?” according to the Record.