GREENSBURG (KDKA) — Jurors today heard from a woman who says Ricky Smyrnes confessed to her just hours after the murder of 30-year-old Jennifer Daugherty.

Laura Piper considered Daugherty a good friend. The two got to know one another at the Welcome Home Shelter in Greensburg.

Piper says she ran into Ricky Smyrnes on the bus in February of 2010 and he told her he killed someone from the shelter named Jennifer.

Jurors today also heard from Dr. Cyril Wecht who performed the autopsy on Daugherty’s body.

Wecht says Daugherty was stabbed in both the heart and lung and died from those wounds.

He says she would have remained conscious for a minute or two, but would have remained alive for six to seven minutes.
He said there is no doubt she suffered tremendously.

This testimony all comes three years to the day since Daugherty’s body was found in a garbage can outside Greensburg Salem Middle School.

Amber Meidinger, Smyrnes’ co-defendant, was expected to be back on the stand this morning, but instead a detective took the stand and read a written statement previously given to him by Meidinger.

Prosecutors appeared to be trying to disprove the defense’s theory that Meidinger changes her story to target the co-defendant on trial.

Jurors Tuesday will likely hear from Smyrnes in his own words when prosecutors play a taped statement in which Smyrnes confesses to his role in the murder.

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