Fayette County DA to seek death penalty in June killing

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Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for two men accused in the June strangling death of a Connellsville woman, who "were not satisfied with killing alone," Fayette County District Attorney Jack R. Heneks Jr. said today in court filings.

Paul J. Bannasch, of Uniontown, and Craig A. Rugg, of Connellsville, both 24, "intended to inflict upon the victim intense pain and suffering, in addition to death, and that the same was unnecessarily heinous, atrocious or cruel, manifesting exceptional depravity and indicating that [Mr. Bannasch] and [Mr. Rugg] were not satisfied with killing alone," Mr. Heneks wrote in a notice filed today.

Their charges include criminal homicide, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, aggravated indecent assault and misdemeanor abuse of a corpse, unlawful restraint and criminal conspiracy in the June 22 death of Margaret "Peggy" Kriek.

Pennsylvania State Police said the pair assaulted Ms. Kriek, 52, and strangled her near Water Street in Connellsville and dumped her body in the river.

A Westmoreland County Boy Scout troop found her body during a camping trip.

Attorneys for the men could not be reached immediately.

breaking - neigh_south

Molly Born: mborn@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1944. Twitter: @borntolede.


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