Ricky Smyrnes sentenced to death by Westmoreland jury

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Ricky Smyrnes -- the leader of the so-called "Greensburg Six" -- has been sentenced to death, a jury decided this evening.

Jurors deliberated for about 5.5 hours in Smyrnes' capital murder case. They decided earlier today that he is not mentally impaired and could face the death penalty in the torture-slaying of Jennifer Daugherty, 30, in February 2010.

Daugherty's family said they are relieved Smyrnes received the death penalty.

"Jen had a voice today," her mother Denise Murphy said.

Daugherty's father echoed similar sentiments.

"I'm glad hes getting the death penalty," Bobby Murphy said. "He's off the streets. He can't hurt no one else ever again."

Terrance Faye, Smyrnes' lawyer, has said she will appeal the sentence.

The jury already had found Smyrnes, 26, guilty of second-degree murder, conspiracy and kidnapping.

The Westmoreland County district attorney's office said Smyrnes incited his five roommates into torturing and abusing Daugherty for more than two days before holding a "family meeting" to vote on whether she should die.

He then ordered a co-defendant, Melvin Knight, 23, to kill her with a knife. Knight did, pleaded guilty to it and is on death row.

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Torsten Ove: tove@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1501. First Published March 1, 2013 12:00 AM


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