PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Amber Meidinger was back on the stand Friday answering more questions by defense attorneys for her co-defendant Ricky Smyrnes.
The contentious cross-examination might best be described as “brutal.”
Defense attorney Mike DeRiso picked apart Meidinger’s testimony showing inconsistencies from her previous testimony.
Meidinger also testified against co-defendents Melvin Knight, who is the father of her child, and Angela Marinucci.
Knight is currently on death row at SCI Greene, Marinucci is serving life at SCI Muncy.
Much of the cross-examination has been filled with silence, with Meidinger either pausing to think before she answers or sobbing on the stand.
The defense is trying to show that Ricky Smyrnes was not the one who actually killed 30-year old Jennifer Daugherty. They are also trying to show that he was not aware of the conspiracy to kill her.
Prosecutors have spent the better part of this week building their case that Smyrnes was the ringleader of the so-called Greensburg 6.
On the stand Friday, DeRiso pressed Meidinger about why she didn’t stop her then fiance Melvin Knight from raping Jennifer Daugherty.
Meidinger sobbed as she told DeRiso that she was afraid Knight would hurt her too. She answered, “If I could of done something I would have.”
Meidinger also sobbed when asked about having kicked Daugherty in the stomach. She told DeRiso through tears, “It wasn’t OK, it wasn’t — nothing that happened was OK.”
Although DeRiso has pointed out numerous inconsistencies, the premise of Meidinger’s testimony has remained the same from previous trials.
This afternoon, DeRiso pressed Meidinger about inconsistencies in her testimony about the concoctions the Greensburg 6 allegedly forced Daugherty to drink.
Meidinger appeared to reach her breaking point as she sobbed saying, “Like I said at the beginning, I don’t remember every detail right away. I can’t remember every detail of everything that happens. I’m not capable of that.”
The defense is trying to show that Meidinger has changed her story each time she has testified to fit the co-defendant on trial.
The defense also appears to be trying to shift blame from Smyrnes to Knight.
Jurors were visibly antsy as many looked around the courtroom, some at the ceiling.
Cross-examination wrapped up late Friday afternoon and jurors were sent home for the weekend.
Meidinger will be back on the stand Monday for re-direct by prosecutors, which will likely be followed by more cross-examination.
Meidinger maintains that she does not have a plea deal in place with prosecutors.
Ricky Smrynes is charged with first degree murder and could be sentenced to death if convicted.