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Greensburg murder defendant told police she was worried about victim

| Monday, May 16, 2011

Angela Marinucci told a detective on Feb. 11, 2010, that her friend, Jennifer Daugherty, had not shown up at the apartment where they were staying and Marinucci was worried some harm had come to Daugherty.

Westmoreland County Detective Frank Galilei testified this afternoon as Marinucci stands trial for the murder of Daugherty, 30, a Mt. Pleasant resident who was mentally challenged.

On the day Daugherty's body was found outside Greensburg Salem Middle School, Marinucci told the detective she was worried because she had not seen Daugherty for several days and she was suppose to meet at man at the bus station in Greensburg.

"She was worried about her friend, Jen, because she was not able to make contact. She (Daugherty) was going to meet some guy she met on the Internet," Galilei told jurors hearing the case before Westmoreland County Judge Rita Hathaway.

Marinucci , 18, of Greensburg and her boyfriend, Ricky Smyrnes, were met by detectives standing outside the North Pennsylvania Avenue apartment where six people allegedly tortured Daugherty for more than two days before she was stabbed and strangled.

Marinucci agreed to go to the police station with Galilei , who was also taking Smyrnes to city hall there for questioning.

Daugherty's body was covered from head to toe with wounds indicating that she was beaten, stabbed and strangled before she died, according to Dr. Cyril Wecht, who conducted the autopsy on the victim.

Wecht testified in the sixth day of trial testimony against Marinucci, 18, of Greensburg. District Attorney John Peck is seeking a first-degree homicide conviction in the trial before Westmoreland County Judge Rita Hathaway.

Police say Marinucci lured Daugherty to the apartment because the defendant was jealous of Daugherty's relationship with Smyrnes.

Wecht said Daugherty had been stabbed seven times. Three of the wounds penetrated her heart and left lung.

Jurors stared at the autopsy photos shown on a television monitor and took notes while they listened to Wecht's testimony.

"Collectively, it would be all the injuries, specifically the cause of death would have been stab wounds of the chest," he said.

He said Daugherty did not die immediately, but began to lose consciousness slowly and likely lived five to six minutes after she was initially stabbed.

When Wecht received Daugherty's body to autopsy on Feb. 11, 2010, it was stuffed inside a black trash can, in a fetal-like position, he said.

Christmas lights were wrapped around her neck and her wrists. Wecht said he did not find any evidence that Daugherty was raped, but said that she had a significant level of Seroquel , an anti-anxiety medication, in her bloodstream, along with large amounts of Zoloft, an antidepressant, which would have made her very drowsy.

Outside the courtroom, Wecht said, "It certainly indicates there was some kind of torture process . Most of them (injuries) would have occurred in a matter of some hours to a couple of days. They are consistent with doing this in a deliberate fashion, consistent with wounds that would have been torture.

"She would have suffered greatly," Wecht said.

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