Victim, Jennifer Daugherty

Victim, Jennifer Daugherty

 

Ring Leader; Ricky Smyrnes

Ring Leader; Ricky Smyrnes

In a swift deliberation earlier this week, a Westmoreland County Pennsylvania jury found Ricky Smyrnes guilty of first degree murder in the death of Jennifer Daugherty in 2010 and will return Tuesday the 19th to decide if he should spend the rest of his life in prison or be put to death.

The jury deliberated roughly two hours before finding Smyrnes, the accused ring leader of the infamous “Greensburg Six” guilty on all counts including second-degree murder, conspiracy and kidnapping in the torture murder of Daugherty in Smyrnes shit-box apartment in Greensburg.

The speed of the verdict surprised Smyrnes’ lawyer Mike DeRiso. “It came back faster than any of us anticipated,” he said. Really? I didn’t think it was a real stretch to find him guilty. This writer believes that what these people did to Ms. Daugherty, the mentally challenged woman who was befriended by these monsters, is incomprehensible to anyone with an ounce of compassion.

DeRiso felt that the jury would come back with a guilty verdict for second-degree murder not first. Oh well. Maybe there are people who think and believe like the rest of society does and after hearing the pure misery, terror and pain Ms. Daugherty suffered at the hands of these six monsters, couldn’t find any result other than guilty of first-degree murder.

DeRiso himself did his best to lay the ground-work for an insanity plea when he was talking to the press. He said that Smyrnes is “nuts” when he’s off his meds. Since Tuesday is the penalty phase of the trial, Smyrnes’ mental capacity and criminal history will be at issue. Insanity is a common plea since you can’t find someone “bat-shit crazy” you have to say insane. It is the more politically correct way to say it.

No matter how you slice it they will be going balls to the wall to try and spare him the death penalty. It’s what defense attorney’s do. Do I agree with it? We’ll leave that one alone. I think all of the “Greensburg Six” should get the needle but that choice is not up to me. Then there is our state of Pennsylvania. While they re-instituted the Death Penalty they haven’t used it since 1999 when Gary Heidnik took the lethal injection for killing and eating his victims and feeding them to the others he held captive.

John Lesko

John Lesko

 

Michael Travaglia

Michael Travaglia

What I truly believe is that if the great state of Pennsylvania is never going to execute another death row inmate then let’s do away with the death penalty all together. What is the point of ceremoniously sentencing someone to death to never execute them. Then to allow these cretins to file appeal after appeal does nothing but clog our justice system and cost the Commonwealth millions of dollars to put these convicted killers back on trial again and again. Lesko and Travaglia of Westmoreland County are the poster children of countless appeals. The have had somewhere around 15 appeals between the two of them since their 1981 “Kill for Thrill” spree in Pittsburgh, Armstrong, Indiana and Westmoreland Counties where their victims included a female who picked them up hitchhiking, a police officer shot down in cold blood and a church organist who they beat and drowned in an Indiana County Park Lake.

Ex-Trooper; Kevin Foley

Ex-Trooper; Kevin Foley

Kevin Foley, the disgraced PA State Police Trooper, was convicted of the 2006 murder of his girlfriend’s estranged husband John Yelenic in his Blairsville home. Yelenic was beaten, stabbed and his throat was slashed so savagely he was almost beheaded. Foley was tied to the murder by bloody foot prints and security camera footage from a nearby convenience store.  He too is filing appeal after appeal although he was not convicted to die he was still sentenced to life in prison.

Pennsylvania has what it called Post Conviction Relief Act (PCRA). Once an inmate has been convicted and sentenced, they are granted one appeal. For some reason the legal system allows for appeal after appeal after appeal. Apparently being found guilty umpteen times is still grounds for an appeal. My point is simple though. No matter what the crime is there should only be a certain amount of appeals before they are out. I mean really, how many times do Lesko and Travaglia need to be found guilty and sentenced to death before the courts realize; “Hey, these guys might really be guilty…”

Melvin Knight

Melvin Knight

 

Angela Marinucci

Angela Marinucci

The bottom line is simple; We need to change sentencing guidelines and limit the number of appeals someone can have. Two other members of the infamous “Greensburg Six” have already been tried and convicted. Melvin Knight was convicted and sentenced to death late last year and Angela Marinucci was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. Since she was under 18 at the time of the crime she was not eligible for the death penalty. Now Ricky Smyrnes will wait for the same jury that convicted him of his crimes to decide the outcome of his sentence.

A second defense attorney Terrence Faye will argue that Smyrnes is mildly retarded. The same argument Mr. DeRiso made at trial on Thursday during his closing. Under the law, mentally challenged people can’t be put to death. Does that mean they can be kidnapped and murdered?

DA John Peck argued that Smyrnes knew exactly what he was doing. During his closing Peck described him as a conniving schemer who incited his 5 roommates, including his girlfriend Angela Marinucci, to hold Daugherty captive for two days while beating and torturing her. Peck said it was Smyrnes who held a “Family Meeting” to take a vote on whether or not Daugherty should live or die, then ordered co-defendant Melvin Knight to kill her with a knife. Peck then said Smyrnes pitted Marinucci against Daugherty in a bid for his affection in what amounted in a twisted love triangle. Then Marinucci and the other assholes, sorry, accused, then ganged up on Daugherty and killed her according to the prosecution.

The Greensburg 6

The Greensburg 6

As I end this I am glad to see that so far Westmoreland County DA John Peck is 3 for 3. These people need to pay for what they did to a woman with mental disability is unbelievable. While I think that life in prison is too good for these pieces of shit, sorry, that was insensitive, The final judgement is God’s. The judge in the court room has judged them and now there is only one judgement left. “Vengeance is mine says the lord…” Although I say; “An eye for an eye…”

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