GREENSBURG (KDKA) – In Westmoreland County, a cruel case of murder that came to be known as the Greensburg 6 ended in Courtroom 5 Thursday morning.
Peggy Miller, 30, and Robert Masters, 39, pleaded guilty to third-degree homicide, criminal conspiracy and kidnapping charges.
The two were among six roommates found guilty of torturing and stabbing to death Jennifer Daugherty, a trusting young woman who was mentally challenged and thought they were her friends.
“That’s one of the things we tried protecting her from was the fact that she truly just saw the good in everybody,” says her sister, Joy Burkholder.
Daugherty would have had her 33rd birthday last month. Burkholder says this time of year was always busy with excitement for her sister.
“She probably would have given everybody their gifts by now, because she couldn’t wait,” Burkholder said.
Daugherty was held against her will for two days, beaten and degraded before being killed. Her body was found wrapped in Christmas tree lights thrown out with the garbage.
Though Miller and Masters apparently did not directly participate, they never helped her. They each are facing a maximum of 50 to 100 years in prison.
“It’s hard being an angry person all the time, and I think, I’m hoping, this is the start to better days,” says Burkholder.
Asked again, if the final pleas bring closure? Daugherty’s step-father, Bobby Murphy, said, “Will we have closure? We won’t have closure; we’ll have justice for Jennifer. Closure will be if Jennifer could come back to the family.”
It’s been four long years in and out of court, but the journey had been hardest for the family of Jennifer Daugherty.
Miller and Masters will be sentenced within 90 days.
They are the last of the “Greensburg 6” to go through the court process.
Amber Meidinger, pleaded guilty to third-degree murder earlier this month and was sentenced to 40 to 80 years in prison.
In February, it took a jury just under four hours to condemn 26-year-old Ricky Smyrnes to death.
Smyrnes showed no emotion as he learned that he would be joining the nearly 200 other inmates on Pennsylvania’s death row. He was the alleged ringleader of the group.
Melvin Knight is on death row after pleading guilty in April of 2012.
Angela Marinucci is serving life in prison after being convicted in May of 2011.