Appeal argued in Western Pa. torture killing case

November 22, 2013

GREENSBURG (AP) – Attorneys for a Western Pennsylvania man sentenced to death in the torture murder of a mentally disabled woman say he shouldn’t be on death row because he wasn’t given a fair chance to defend himself.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that defense attorneys Mike DeRiso and Terrance Faye said that Westmoreland County prosecutors failed to disclose evidence that would have helped 27-year-old Ricky Smyrnes argue that another man orchestrated the February 2010 murder of 30-year-old Jennifer Daugherty.

Prosecutors say Daugherty was held in a dingy apartment for more than two days and tormented, humiliated and finally killed by people she initially believed were her friends.

Smyrnes is appealing his conviction and sentence on a number of grounds, including that he should’ve been allowed to plead guilty but mentally ill.

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