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Jury deliberations expected in trial of exterminator charged with killing pediatrician


PHILADELPHIA — Jury deliberations were expected to begin in the trial of a Philadelphia pediatrician allegedly strangled by an exterminator after she questioned his work. She was then tied up with equestrian gear and set on fire.

Thirty-five-year-old Dr. Melissa Ketunuti had graduated from Stanford University medical school, worked in Botswana and spent about five years at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia as a physician and researcher when she was killed in January 2013.

The man accused of killing her is 37-year-old exterminator Jason Smith, the last person known to have visited her home.

Smith's defense attorney contends he made a legitimate house call and that detectives squeezed a confession out of him because they wanted to solve the case.

Smith is from Levittown. The dead doctor lived in Philadelphia's Center City.

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