Updated:GREENSBURG, Pa.,None — Courtney Brennan small photo Courtney Brennan Courtney Brennan is in Greensburg covering the trial. Her updates will be highlighted in bold text below.
The trial continued for the seventh day on Tuesday for a woman accused in the torture and slaying of a mentally disabled woman in Greensburg in February 2010.
Then-17-year-old Angela Marinucci is one of six people charged in 30-year-old Jennifer Daugherty's killing.
Tuesday, the defense took over, bringing many character witnesses to the stand. Marinucci also took the stand claiming that she never wanted Daugherty to die and never threatened to kill her. Marinucci told the jury that she spoke up while Daugherty was being tortured and tried to stop it.
Prosecutors intend to pursue the death penalty against Ricky Smyrnes, 25, Melvin Knight and Amber Meidinger, 21. They don't intend to seek the death penalty against the two other defendants -- Peggy Miller, 28, and Robert Masters, 36.
Prosecutors can't pursue the death penalty against Marinucci, because she was a juvenile at the time of the crime.
Prosecutors said Marinucci was the instigator of the savage slaying of Daugherty, of Mount Pleasant, whose body was found in a garbage container in a school parking lot in Greensburg.
For several hours, Marinucci told the jury about the woman she's accused of killing. Marinucci said Daugherty was her friend. She acknowledged that she was at the Greensburg apartment while Daugherty was tortured and she did hit Daugherty a few times, but then spoke up.
Marinucci told the jury "I told them to leave her alone. I told them to stop."
Marinucci cried during some of her testimony and also got very upset when her mother took the stand.
Jeannie Green told the jury, "Angela was dating a guy named Jay during this incident. She never mentioned she was dating Ricky Smyrnes."
The defense continually highlighted that Marinucci had a boyfriend and there was no love triangle between her, Daugherty and Smyrnes.
A former boyfriend of Marinucci's also testified in Marinucci's defense. He said Marinucci and Daugherty were good friends and that he can't believe she's accused of murder.
Marinucci placed much of the blame on Ricky Smyrnes and said he was violent and she felt threatened by him. She says when the Greensburg six held a family meeting about killing Daugherty, the others all voted "yes" and she stayed quiet.
On Monday Daugherty's parents took the stand and told the jury about the last time they saw her alive.
Denise Murphy told the jury about the last note her daughter left on the kitchen table that said, "I hope that you have a good day at work and I also love you very much. I will talk to you sometime later."
Murphy said she never heard from her daughter again. She said when she tried calling her daughter's cell phone there was no answer and at one point her voicemail was mysteriously changed and said, "You've reached the phone of Melvin and Amber."
Sometime later, Denise Murphy said her husband saw a breaking news alert on television and became concerned.
Dr. Cyril Wecht also testified on Monday, detailing what killed Daugherty.
"This was some kind of torture process. There's no way that you just set out to kill somebody in a moment of anger, that you would have all these injuries all over the body," Wecht said.
Wecht said Daugherty had wounds on her head, face, neck, arms, legs and back, but what ultimately killed her were stab wounds to her chest.
"Until the fatal wounds were inflicted causing damage to the left lung and heart and leading to her death she would have suffered greatly," said Wecht.
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Tuesday, May 17
UPDATE: 1:56 p.m. - Marinucci is on the stand.
She says she considered Daugherty a friend.
Marinucci says she was dating a man named "Jay" during all of this and did not have a romantic interest in Smyrnes. The prosection has said Marinucci and Daugherty were fighting over Smyrnes.
UPDATE: 12:15 p.m - Angela Marinucci's mom testified right before the lunch break.
She said Marinucci and Daugherty were friends and Daugherty came to her house several times.
Marinucci's mom says Angela was dating a guy named "Jay" during this Daugherty incident. She said Angela never mentioned she was dating Ricky Smyrnes.
Marinucci went home during the days Daugherty was tortured to get her medication. Her mom says she seemed upset and asked her to stay home that night but Marinucci left.
UPDATE: 11:15 a.m. - The second witness for the defense was Robert Cathcart. He was the one who rented the Greensburg apartment and let everyone stay there.
He says Marinucci and Daugherty were friends and they seemed to be fine a week before Daugherty's murder.
Cathcart is the one who moved out of that apartment just days before all this happened. UPDATE: 10:21 a.m. - The first witness for the defense is a man named Robert Naperatz who dated Marinucci and Daugherty. He says the two "Got along great...they were good friends."
Witness says he never heard Marinucci make any threats towards Daugherty.
Monday, May 16
UPDATE: 3:08 p.m. - Denise and Bobby Murphy, Daugherty's parents, both took the stand. Her mom talked about a note Jennifer had left on the kitchen table that said I love you and I'll see you in a couple of days.
Her mom also said she called Jennifer's phone but got no answer. At one point the phone's voicemail had been changed to "You've reached the phone of Melvin and Amber."
Daugherty's parents saw a breaking news alert that said a body had been found in Greensburg and they were scared it was Jennifer.
UPDATE: 3:00 p.m. - Commonwealth just rested. Defense begins tomorrow.
UPDATE: 1:38 p.m. - A Westmoreland County detective met Angela Marinucci on the street after Daugherty's death.
He says Marinucci said to him "I hope that girl they found isn't my friend, Jen."
The detective says Marinucci told him that her friend Jennifer Daugherty was going to meet a man at the bus station that she met online. Marinucci said she thought that was dangerous and hadn't heard from Jen for a few days.
These were Marinucci's first statements to police about this case.
Friday, May 13
UPDATE: 10: 50 a.m. - Wecht says Daugherty suffered greatly and was tortured for a period of several days. Wecht says those "torture" injuries were not fatal. The stab wounds to her lungs and heart killed her.
UPDATE: 10:33 a.m. - Dr. Cyril Wecht is on stand talking about Jennifer Daugherty's autopsy.
Daugherty died of several stab wounds to her chest. The knife penetrated her lungs and heart.
Wecht also said Daugherty had other injuries all over her body; face, head, neck, back, legs and chest.
This testimony has been difficult for Daugherty's family to hear. They're also seeing very graphic autopsy photos.
Previous Stories: May 13, 2011: Co-Defendant: Fake Text Messages Lured Torture, Slaying Victim To Apartment May 12, 2011: Inmates Say Greensburg Slaying Suspect 'Likes' Media Attention May 11, 2011: Jailhouse Witness Takes Stand In Greensburg Torture, Slaying Case May 9, 2011: DA: Teen Was 'Instigator' In Disabled Woman's Death
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