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Trial begins for Greensburg man accused of killing wife

| Wednesday, May 9, 2012, 11:29 p.m.

Prosecutors argued Wednesday that a Greensburg man ought to spend life in prison for shooting his allegedly drug-dependent wife last year after two days of fights and run-ins with police.

Testimony in John Frances Majercik's trial started yesterday in the Oct. 12, 2003, shooting death of Sandra Majercik, 39. She died at the couple's townhouse in Building R, New Salem Acres, suffering a single gunshot wound to the chest. John Majercik, 36, of 602 Allegheny Drive, is charged with a single count of criminal homicide in the death, and prosecutors are seeking a conviction of first-degree murder.

"Sandy Majercik spent her last moments pleading for her life, but those pleas fell on deaf ears," Assistant District Attorney Judith Petrush told jurors.

According to Petrush, neighbors and friends will testify that the victim was seen bloodied, with black eyes and "busted lips" in the weeks and months leading up to her death.

"She told them she was afraid of him and afraid of that gun," she said.

The gun that fired the bullet that ended her life was a .357 magnum, according to prosecutors.

But the defense argued that John Majercik was trying to prevent his wife's death by wresting the gun from her grasp as she threatened to kill herself.

"In an attempt to get the gun away from Sandy, that she threatened to use on herself and him. In that process, the gun was discharged, and Sandy was dead," said defense attorney Jeff Monzo.

Both attorneys said the couple had an abusive relationship. But Monzo said that was not proof of a killing.

"That's wrong. But it does not make John Majercik a murderer," he said.

According to Petrush, the victim was involved in a fight with the victim in public the day before the shooting, and was arrested later for marijuana possession when police were called for a continuing fracas with her adult son.

The following day, Oct. 12, 2003, she had car trouble, took her husband's truck, and went to a hospital, possibly to ask for unneeded pain medication, Petrush said.

When she returned home, Petrush said, the two fought.

She said a neighbor will testify that Sandra Majercik's cries for mercy could be heard.

Petrush also said jurors will hear a 911 tape from John Majercik.

He "says, 'I shot my wife' and can be overheard telling his wife, 'I'm sorry. I love you.' It was too late for an ambulance, too late for I'm sorry, because Sandy was dead," she said.

The trial is expected to last into next week before Westmoreland County Judge Richard E. McCormick Jr.

Majercik awaits the verdict lodged in the Westmoreland County Prison without bail.

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