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.
Donachy is charged in the April 6, 1999 rape and murder of Irene Challingsworth, a 57-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. Donachy, who is currently incarcerated at the State Correctional Institute in Albion, was present at the trial.
Elk County Court of Common Pleas President Judge Richard Masson is presiding over the 10-day trial and opened with detailed instructions to the 12 jury members plus three alternates, all of whom are Butler, Pa. residents. They are being housed in DuBois.
In addition, witnesses have also been sequestered for the duration of the trial.