Archive - News Article
October 12th, 2011
RIDGWAY - Two expert witnesses from the Pennsylvania State Police crime labs testified on Wednesday during Lawrence Earl Donachyâ€™s trial being held in the Elk County Courthouse. Donachy, 36, is charged in the April 6, 1999 rape and murder of Irene Challingsworth, a St. Marys beautician.
Forensic Lab Manager Bruce Tackett of the PSP Crime Lab in Erie, along with Forensic DNA Manager Beth Ann Marne of PSP Crime Lab in Greensburg, were both accepted as expert witnesses as part of the trial.
RIDGWAY - Inside the Elk County Courthouse on day three of the homicide trial of a man accused of the April 6, 1999 rape and murder of St. Marys beautician Irene Challingsworth, jurors listened to testimony from Pennsylvania State Police scientists and Challingsworth's former boyfriend. Lawrence Earl Donachy, 36, of St. Marys, is charged with one count each of homicide, rape, burglary, aggravated assault, criminal attempt at arson and unlawful restraint.
Forget about going green: Elk County is going pink. This Friday will mark the third annual county-wide Pink Day to support breast cancer awareness.
The annual event began in 2008 and has grown each year to involve all of the schools within the county.
"It would be wonderful for the tradition to become community-wide throughout Elk County on one designated day each October," said Roben Daghir, elementary guidance counselor for the Ridgway Area School District. "We tell our younger students that if a plane were flying overhead on Pink Day, there would be a sea of pink over Elk County."
The Ridgway Rotary will be hosting its first annual Quilt Show fundraiser on Saturday, Oct. 15 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Udarbe Complex along South Street in Ridgway.
The Quilt Show is free and open to the public, and coincides with the Ridgway-Elk County Chamber of Commerce Flavors of Fall festival. During the festival residents are encouraged to stop in at the Quilt Show, which features over 75 quilts created by residents throughout the county.
On Tuesday afternoon, forensic pathologist Dr. Eric Vey, M.D., of the Erie County Coroner's Office, was at the Elk County Courthouse presenting details on the cause of death of Irene Challingsworth during the homicide trial of Lawrence Earl Donachy, 36, of St. Marys. Donachy has been charged with rape, murder and other counts in the death of Challingsworth, which took place on April 6, 1999.
Elk County District Attorney Bradley Kraus and defense attorneys George Daghir and Shawn McMahon accepted Vey as an expert witness in forensic pathology as part of the trial.
During the second day of the trial of Lawrence Earl Donachy, testimony was heard from Pennsylvania State Police Corporal Jeff Lee, former St. Marys City Police Sergeant Phil Hoh and Denise Zuchowski, Donachy's former roommate. Donachy, 36, of St. Marys, is charged in the April 6, 1999 rape and murder of Irene Challingsworth, a St. Marys beautician.
At the recent meeting of the St. Marys Area Board of School Directors, the board approved several new personnel items.
All employment recommendations are provisional for 30 days pending receipt of Act 151 and Act 34 clearance documentation.
Support personnel resignations were accepted for Ann Fledderman, of St. Marys, as cafeteria monitor, and Michelle Holsopple, of Wilcox, as classroom aide.
The homicide trial of Lawrence Earl Donachy, 36, of St. Marys, began Monday morning as a 15-member jury heard opening remarks and testimony from four witnesses was heard.
Among the first group of witnesses to take the stand Monday on the opening day of the homicide trial of Lawrence Earl Donachy were Kelly Bauer of St. Marys, the daughter of murder victim Irene Challingsworth; Judith Wendel of St. Marys, a long-time client of Challingsworth; Diane Scutella of St. Marys, a former employee of Consolidated News Agency in 1999; Bill Brem of Tampa, Fla., a retired St. Marys City Police officer; and Cpl. Jeffrey Kunselman of the Punxsutawney-based Pennsylvania State Police's Forensic Services Unit.
At Monday's meeting of the St. Marys Area School District's Board of Directors, area residents questioned board members about information contained in a Daily Press article covering last Thursday's work session meeting of the board. At that meeting, SMASD Superintendent Anne Kearney said she had been approached by ELEXCO Land Services Company, with the company requesting permission to conduct seismic testing on the district's property at the Bennetts Valley Elementary School.