Jury continues deliberations in Donachy trial
The 12-member jury in the Lawrence Earl Donachy homicide trial continued their deliberations for eight hours on Wednesday and reported no verdict as the trial recessed for the day at 5 p.m.Deliberations will continue Thursday morning at 9 a.m. at the Elk County Courthouse as President Judge Richard Masson presides over the hearing. Donachy is charged in the April 5-6, 1999 rape and murder of Irene Challingsworth, a 56-year-old St. Marys beautician, after he allegedly broke into her Walnut Street residence. He is charged with one count each of criminal homicide, rape, burglary, aggravated assault, criminal attempt at arson and unlawful restraint. Wednesday marked the second day of deliberations, with the jury sequestered inside a separate room inside the courthouse for a total of 13.5 hours as they attempt to determine a verdict in the case. The Butler County jury began deliberations on Tuesday for 5.5 hours before recessing for the day at approximately 5 p.m.Upon recessing on Wednesday, Masson stated the jury "has been working very diligently and conscientiously."Elk County District Attorney Bradley Kraus is representing the Commonwealth as the prosecution in the case, while attorneys George Daghir and Shawn McMahon are representing Donachy.Family and friends of Challingsworth consistently attended each day of the trial and have remained at the courthouse throughout the duration of the deliberations.