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Trial Begins For 1st ‘Greensburg 6′ Suspect

By: Trina Orlando
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A piece of evidence in the trial of one of 6 people accused of killing Jennifer Daugherty.  (Credit: Trina Orlando/KDKA)

A piece of evidence in the trial of one of 6 people accused of killing Jennifer Daugherty. (Credit: Trina Orlando/KDKA)

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GREENSBURG (KDKA) -The trial began Monday for one of the six suspects charged in the death of a Greensburg woman last year.

Angela Marinucci is the first of the “Greensburg Six” to go to trial.

Police claim Marinucci, along with Ricky Smyrnes, Melvin Knight, Robert Masters, Amber Meidinger and Peggy Miller tortured and then killed 30-year-old Jennifer Daugherty inside of a Greensburg apartment last year.

Prosecutors are seeking a first-degree murder conviction and a jury of six men and six women is hearing Marinucci’s case.

In an opening statement, District Attorney John Peck showed jurors a poster of the Greensburg Six. He told them that all were involved, but that Marinucci was the instigator.

He said Marinucci wanted Daugherty dead because she was jealous of her relationship with Smyrnes. Peck said that testimony would show Marinucci had previously stated that she wanted to see Daugherty dead.

In an opening statement for the defense, attorney Mike DeMatt told jurors that Marinucci was a 17-year-old high school student at the time. As a result, she would not have been able to convince others, who were in some cases twice her age, to carry out the ultimate crime of murder.

DeMatt said that while what happened to Daugherty was no doubt awful, Marinucci was not the one who did it.

He said she and others were manipulated by Smyrnes, who was the mastermind. He said testimony would show that Smyrnes was pursuing multiple women and made a conscious choice to kill Daugherty so that he could be with Marinucci.

The first witness for the prosecution was Rebecca Clark.

She was being driven to work by her father, Ray, early in the morning on Feb. 11, 2010, when she saw two men dragging a garbage can through the snow.

She later called police after seeing on the news that a body had been found in a garbage can at nearby Greensburg-Salem Middle School.

The second witness was Daniel Grant.

Grant is the man who found the garbage can under his truck in the Greensburg-Salem Middle School parking lot.

Prosecutors showed crime scene photos, which Grant identified for the jury. The judge is expected to release those photos this afternoon.

The third witness was Adam Jack, who is a forensic expert who used to work for the Westmoreland County Detective Bureau.

He described in great detail the multiple stab wounds to Daugherty’s upper-left chest area that punctured her heart and lung. He also described injuries to the rest of her body.

He said that her hair had been cut and was shaved in some places. There was a clear plastic garbage bag over her head and a black garbage bag over her feet. Her hands were bound with holiday lights, while her feet were bound with holiday garland.

The victim was clutching a white bath towel and her face had been painted with red nail polish.

Jack explained these injuries to the jury with the help of graphic autopsy photos.

While reviewing the photos, the judge stopped prosecutors mid-sentence and suggested the court recess for lunch.

Marinucci was sobbing at the defense table and a juror teared up in the jury box.

The trial is expected to last for two weeks.

KDKA-TV’s Trina Orlando is in the courtroom and will be tweeting updates on breaks. You can follow her updates at www.twitter.com/trinaorlando

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Pennsylvania State Police

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