KQV AM 1410

Feb 22, 5:34 PM EST

State high court rejects appeal in 2010 torture death


GREENSBURG, Pa. (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 (http://bit.ly/2lqJY4p ) 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.

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.

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Information from: Tribune-Review, http://triblive.com

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