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DA seeks judge's OK to present evidence that woman found in river was kidnapped, tortured


UNIONTOWN, Pennsylvania — Prosecutors are urging a judge to allow them to present evidence that a woman whose body was recovered in a western Pennsylvania river last year was kidnapped and tortured prior to her death.

Twenty-five-year-old Craig Rugg of Connellsville and 25-year-old Paul Bannasch of Hopwood are charged in Fayette County in the June 2013 death of 52-year-old Margaret Kriek of Connellsville, whose body was found in the Youghiogheny (yawk-ah-GEN'-nee) River.

The (Uniontown) Herald-Standard ( ) reports that Rugg's attorneys want prosecutors barred from seeking the death penalty because they cannot prove Kriek was kidnapped or tortured.

Assistant District Attorney Anthony Iannamoelli Jr. argued Tuesday that there was evidence that Kriek was alive when she was allegedly beaten and assaulted.

Both defendants also want prosecutors barred from using their statements to police.

Information from: Herald-Standard,

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