Exclusive: Friend of McAndrew family reacts

March 7, 2011 8:29:29 PM PST
Only hours before, James McAndrew's best friend was at the family home hanging out and watching YouTube videos.

Now, in an exclusive interview with Action News, 22-year-old Scott Loayza is remembering his friend.

Scott has known the McAndrew family for about 8 years. Ironically, he met them through the accused killer, Joseph, when they were in the 6th grade together. But he says as the years went by, Joseph began to change.

"His brother later admitted to me that, he told me to promise not to tell anyone that [Joseph] was diagnosed with schizophrenia," Loayza said.

James McAndrew and Scott would ultimately become best friends.

"He was a very outgoing guy, very outgoing, very charismatic, intelligent," Loayza said.

Meanwhile, he says Joseph was sent to rehab for mental health treatment. Scott says Joseph wasn't a bad guy, just an introvert.

"He was a guy that kept to himself and he was really friendly, he wasn't a bad guy at all. You cannot see him hurt a fly," Loayza said.

Early that morning on that ill-fated day, Scott says he tried desperately to convince his friend James, a recent Penn State Grad in computer programming, to go hang out in New York City for the weekend. In the end, James decided not to go.

Late Sunday, upon his return, Scott says he tried to call and text message his friend to no avail. And then he got the word on Facebook.

Authorities say 23-year-old Joseph McAndrew used an 18-inch sword to kill his twin brother James, his 70-year-old father, Joseph Sr., and his 64-year-old mother, Susan. They say the crime scene was absolutely gruesome.

As Scott Laiyzo tries to grasp the reality of the horror that unfolded in the McAndrew house in the 200 block of Holstein Road Saturday, he gets a chill.

"It's a scary thing to think that if I never went to New York, I actually would have been there," Scott said.

Joseph McAndrew is being held without bail at the Montgomery County Prison on 3 counts of first and third degree murder.