GREENSBURG (KDKA) — A Westmoreland County man facing the death penalty sat emotionless in his chair as the mother of his child testified against him.
Amber Meidinger told the court she was testifying against her former fiancé because it was the right thing to do.
“Because coming from me, being a mom, I’d want to know what happened to my kid,” she said. “So, I’m here to tell the truth about what happened.”
Melvin Knight is on trial for the torture and murder of 30-year-old Jennifer Daugherty. Authorities say he admitted to stabbing her seven times after she was tortured by the so-called “Greensburg 6.”
Meidinger spoke very slowly and nervously played with a tissue in her hand. She broke down before taking the stand.
It took her more than an hour to explain how she met her co-defendants and how they came to be in the same place on the Monday before the murder.
Meidinger was on the stand the entire afternoon answering questions from prosecutors.
She’ll take stand again Thursday for cross examination.
She said it all began by them making fun of Jennifer, but quickly escalated. Jennifer kept asking, “Why are you doing this?” and they would just laugh.
Meidinger told the jury in great detail how she walked in on her then-fiancée raping Jennifer Daugherty.
She said he later stabbed Daugherty to death with a steak knife.
She testified that Smyrnes handed Knight the knife, but that was the only time Knight was given directions on what to do.
Meidinger struggled to look at Knight when asked by prosecutors to identify him in the courtroom.
She also testified that Angela Marinucci wanted to wrap Daugherty in lights so she would “look like a Christmas tree.” She said it was Peggy Miller’s idea to paint her with nail polish because she thought it would “look nice.”
Jurors also heard from state police experts who offered testimony on DNA and fingerprints found at the scene.
Photos Of Weapons Used On Jennifer Daugherty Shown To Jurors (8/21/12)
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