GREENSBURG, Pa. (KDKA/AP) – The state Supreme Court has upheld the first-degree murder conviction and death penalty imposed on a man in the torture death of a mentally disabled woman in western Pennsylvania.
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that the commonwealth’s highest court said Wednesday that there was enough evidence for the Westmoreland County jury to convict 30-year-old Ricky Smyrnes and to sentence him to death.
Smyrnes was one of six people charged in the February 2010 death of 30-year-old Jennifer Daugherty in a dingy Greensburg apartment. He argued that evidence was improperly allowed and jurors didn’t correctly weigh penalty phase evidence.
In 2013, it took a jury just under four hours to condemn Smyrnes to death. Investigators called him the ringleader of the so-called “Greensburg 6.”
The state Supreme Court last fall overturned the death sentence imposed on 27-year-old Melvin Knight, saying jurors should have been told that he had no criminal record.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)