Accused for the Death of Mentally-Handicapped Woman Wanted Death Penalty Nixed

Accused for the Death of Mentally-Handicapped Woman Wanted Death Penalty Nixed


Pennsylvania – 24-year old Ricky Smyrnes, one of those charged for the torture and murder of 30-year old Jennifer Daugherty, said that the prosecutors on the case will not be able to seek death penalty because his mental capacity is that of a 3rd-grader. His lawyers also asked for the charges to be dismissed based partly on a statement made by another suspect to the police.

Five other people, along with Smyrnes, were charged for the crime. They were Peggy Miller, Amber Meidinger, Angela Marinucci, Robert Masters, Jr. and Melvin Knight. The six are now being held at Westermoreland County Prison.

Jennifer was a mentally-handicapped individual who had the mental capacity of a 12-14 year old. She easily trusted people, considered the six accused her friends, which eventually led to her demise.

The six allegedly tortured her first and stabbed her to death afterwards. They shaved her head, painted nail polish on her face, made her ingest various substances including urine, medications, detergent and vegetable oil. They also forced her to write a suicide note. Jennifer was also hit with a crutch and a towel rack, according to an affidavit. She was stabbed at the neck and on other parts of her body. They stuffed her in a trash container and dumped her body at a middle school afterwards.

Smyrnes lawyers filed motions which stated that an IQ test taken by their client in 2008 showed that his IQ was only 67.

Pretrial hearings on the case are scheduled on October 29.