The Westmoreland County District Attorney announced Monday that he will seek the death penalty against three suspects accused of murdering a Greensburg woman back in February.
Ricky Smyrnes, Melvin Knight and Amber Meidinger could all be put to death if convicted of Daugherty's murder.
District Attorney John Peck says after carefully examining the circumstances leading up to Daugherty's death he believes there were sufficient aggravating circumstances to seek the death penalty. He cites two, saying that Daugherty was tortured before her death and died as a result of that torture.
Peck asked for a 45-day extension to make the death penalty decision at a formal arraignment earlier this year. Today was the deadline.
Also charged are Robert masters, Peggy miller and Angela Marinucci. Marinucci was not eligible for the death penalty because she is a minor.
Police say the suspects tortured Daugherty in a Greensburg apartment before stabbing her to death and stuffing her body in a garbage can. The garbage can was found outside Greensburg Salem Middle School.
Smyrnes is the alleged ringleader of the murder. Police say Daugherty met Smyrnes at a shelter in Greensburg at a time when Smyrnes was under a PFA on an unrelated case.
State Senator Kim Ward says she was contacted by Daugherty's family with this information. She is now calling for legislation that would provide safeguards for people in local shelters by keeping those with PFA orders out.
Jennifer Daugherty's stepfather spoke to District Attorney John Peck this morning and says he supports the death penalty decision 100 percent.
A status conference in this case is expected sometime in September so a judge can determine if a trial date can be set.
Click source if you want to see the news report but it mostly repeats the article.
Sorry to say that this is my first post. Totally wish it wasn't, this whole situation of her death was just plain awful and sick.
Edit: Added links to original story with source.