GREENSBURG (KDKA) – A Westmoreland County jury has found the alleged ringleader of the so-called “Greensburg 6” guilty on all counts in connection with the death of Jennifer Daugherty.
Ricky Smyrnes, 26, is charged with first-degree, second-degree and third-degree murder, kidnapping, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit kidnapping.
Jury deliberations went on for about two hours.
“It came back quicker than I think any of us anticipated,” said Mike Deriso, the defense attorney. “I had hoped that they would have stayed out longer, but the amount of evidence was there and it is what it is.”
District Attorney John Peck finished up his closing argument shortly after noon. Following that, the jury was charged and then they began deliberating around 2 p.m.
It was announced around 4 p.m. that a verdict had been reached.
Prosecutors spend about two weeks presenting evidence against Smyrnes.
They claim a love triangle between Smyrnes, co-defendant Angela Marinucci and Daugherty ultimately led to Daugherty’s being tortured and killed in February of 2010.
The defense argued that the prosecution’s case hinges on the testimony of co-defendant of Amber Meidinger and that she can’t be trusted. The defense pointed out 70 alleged inconsistencies in her testimony during cross-examination.
The defense council asked the judge to poll the jury after the verdict was read – all say that yes that was the verdict they had reached.
Daugherty’s family could be heard saying “yes” as verdict was read in the courtroom.
The prosecution is seeking the death penalty against Smyrnes. The penalty phase is set to being Tuesday.