Police give gruesome narrative of Ronny Cable's death: Beaten with hammer, strangled, set afire
A Greensburg man is accused of striking a Vandergrift woman with a hammer more than 10 times as she begged for her life before he strangled her last year in a remote part of Derry Township, according to court papers.
Police allege that Walter W. Cable, 25, plotted in February 2017 with Devin A. Akamichi, 25, of Export to kill 34-year-old Ronny Cable and burn her body. Investigators said robbery appears to be the motive.
“Cable stole money and prescription medication out of her purse after he killed her,” Westmoreland County Detective Ray Dupilka said.
The suspects were arraigned Friday and are being held without bond at the Westmoreland County Prison. Authorities said the two Cables are not related.
Investigators have worked on the case for more than a year since Cable's remains were found March 9, 2017. They got a break Thursday during an interview with Akamichi, Dupilka said. Both were arrested late Thursday and charged with homicide, conspiracy and abuse of a corpse. Cable faces an additional robbery count.
Neither suspect responded to a reporter's questions as they were led away in handcuffs.
Both previously denied the allegations.
Ronny Cable was last seen on surveillance footage at the Walmart in Harrison on Feb. 16, 2017, with two men whom Dupilka identified as Akamichi and Cable. All three were seen at Ronny Cable's home later that night and they got into a red Chevrolet Cavalier, according to the affidavit.
Police outlined what they believe is the sequence of events that followed.
Akamichi told investigators he drove the trio to Hillview Tavern in Oklahoma, and that's where Walter Cable allegedly brought up the plot to take Ronny Cable to a relative's Derry Township property and kill her, police said.
“Both turned off their cellphones at that point,” Dupilka said.
Cellphone records show Walter Cable's phone was powered off from 11:20 p.m. Feb. 16, 2017, to 4:19 p.m. the next day. Akamichi's phone was turned off at 10:05 p.m. Feb. 16 and turned on at 9:10 a.m. the next day.
On the way, the men stopped at a Salem GetGo gas station at 4:45 a.m. Feb. 17. Surveillance footage and register receipts show that Akamichi filled a gas can with fuel and he and Walter Cable bought food and drinks, according to the complaint.
Their destination was a wooded area off Strawcutter Road, not far from Keystone State Park. There, the men allegedly led Ronny Cable to a wooded area.
“Walter Cable retrieved a small hammer and began striking Ronny Cable numerous times about her head,” Dupilka wrote in the complaint. “Akamichi estimated that Walter Cable struck Ronny Cable in excess of 10 times as she begged both not to kill her.”
Walter Cable then allegedly stood behind Ronny Cable and choked her to death, Akamichi told investigators.
The suspects collected wood and lit it and Ronny Cable's body on fire, police said. As the fire burned, Walter Cable removed money and a bottle of prescription medication from the victim's purse before burning it.
The pair allegedly used a shovel and other implements to break up the charred bones, police said.
Akamichi led investigators to the gruesome scene on March 9, 2017, about 10 days after Ronny Cable's mother reported her missing.
The following day, a Mercyhurst University forensic anthropology team assisted in recovering what investigators believe are Ronny Cable's remains along Kiser Lane. Police found items belonging to her and plastic food wrappers from GetGo at the scene.
Both suspects were arrested by Penn Township police and jailed on unrelated drug charges March 9, 2017.
They were paroled on those cases in August after pleading guilty, but other, unrelated charges held Walter Cable in jail until September, according to court records. They were accused of selling 90 grams of marijuana on April 11 and 14, 2016, to an informant in a Penn Township parking lot area and on April 20, 2016, in a Greensburg parking lot area.
While in court for preliminary hearings on the drug cases on March 21, 2017, both suspects declined to comment to reporters about Ronny Cable's death.
“I have no comment at this time,” Walter Cable said then.
“No, nothing to do with it,” Akamichi said. “No, I can't say nothing.”
Preliminary hearings in the homicide cases are set for April 11.