Rachel King murder: Woman's brother hopes Pennsylvania governor will allow death penalty for suspects
CHELTENHAM TOWNSHIP, Pa. - The brother of a woman gunned down in a murder-for-hire plot is urging the state's highest official to consider the death penalty for her accused killers.
Rachel King, a Philadelphia school teacher, was fatally shot in front of her son in the drive-thru of a Dunkin' in Cheltenham Township on April 11.
On Wednesday, the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office announced charges against Zakkee Steven Alhakim, 33, of Philadelphia, and Julie Jean, 34, of Elkins Park.
Officials say the deadly shooting stemmed from Rachel's boyfriend's "ended affair" with Jean, who later conspired in a murder-for-hire plot with Alhakim.
RELATED: Rachel King murder: Mother gunned down in front of son over boyfriend's 'ended affair,' DA says
Rachel's brother Allen King joined Good Day Philadelphia to share his reaction to the outcome of the investigation.
Allen says he is in disbelief that someone would go this far to kill his sister over a failed relationship, noting he was unaware of the alleged "ended affair" between Rachel's longtime boyfriend and Jean.
The realization that Rachel is no longer here is sinking in for Allen, who says he would call her whenever he had a bad day, but now he cannot.
Rachel's 11-year-old son is in therapy and seeing a trauma counselor after witnessing his mother's brutal mother.
Allen says the young boy was the one who called their family after the deadly shooting. "He called from the car," Allen said. "That's how we found out, because [he] called."
According to the DA's Office, the suspects spent months planning the murder and followed her to the Dunkin', where she was killed.
When asked how he feels about the level of conspiracy that went into her tragic death, Allen said he hopes Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro considers the death penalty.
"It makes me feel like I truly sincerely hope that our governor signs off on the death penalty. They had multiple opportunities to turn around, to not do this," he said. "They knew that my nephew was in the car. They made a very clear choice."
In February, Shapiro said he would not sign execution warrants and urged state lawmakers to repeal the death penalty in the state.
When speaking about the alleged cause of the slaying, Allen says he cannot understand why someone would do this over a relationship.
"You just don't take a mother away from her child. Over a relationship, over a guy," Allen said. "There's a million men in this city. Why?"
Allen says Rachel's funeral is on Saturday, and he would have never imagined this happening because she lived in a safe neighborhood.
The King family continues healing efforts, but Allen says he will not have closure until justice is served.