Judge rejects appeal of then-17-year-old murder suspect in disabled woman's torture killing

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GREENSBURG, Pennsylvania — A judge has rejected the appeal of a then-juvenile who was the catalyst in the torture death of a mentally disabled Pennsylvania woman.

Angela Marinucci, who is now 23, was granted a new sentencing hearing in July under a U.S. Supreme Court ruling outlawing mandatory life sentences for juvenile offenders.

Marinucci was 17 when she egged on her boyfriend, then-25-year-old Ricky Smyrnes, and five others to torture 30-year-old Jennifer Daugherty in a dingy Greensburg apartment in February 2010.

Westmoreland County Judge Rita Hathaway decided in July that Marinucci still deserved a life sentence, prompting Marinucci's appeal claiming the judge abused her discretion.

Hathaway rejected that Wednesday.

The two who actually killed Daugherty, Smyrnes and Melvin Knight, are on death row for first-degree murder. The others are serving decades in prison.

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