Twenty-one-year-old Matthew Darby is accused of having used a claw hammer and two knives in October to kill 20-year-old Alina Sheykhet, his ex-girlfriend. He fled and was captured in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Allegheny County prosecutors said capital punishment would be warranted if Darby is convicted of first-degree murder because the murder occurred during commission of other felonies.
They also cited the defendant's criminal history and the fact that the victim had a protection-from-abuse order against him stemming from an earlier break-in at her apartment.
Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf has imposed a moratorium on use of the death penalty.
Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.