RIDGWAY - On Monday afternoon, Elk County President Judge Richard Masson handed down a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole to Lawrence Earl Donachy, 36, of St. Marys, who was found guilty of second-degree murder in the April 5-6, 1999 homicide of Irene Challingsworth, a 56-year-old St. Marys beautician.
As part of the sentencing, Challingsworth's family members had an opportunity to address Donachy. Among those speaking were Challingsworth's daughter, Kelly Bauer of St. Marys, who also testified during the preliminary hearing and trial; Challingsworth's sisters, Jane Bologna of St. Marys and Darlene Pollino of Kersey; and her niece and goddaughter Alicia Shriver, 27, of Kersey.
Donachy was sentenced to be incarcerated at a State Correctional Institute in Pittsburgh with credit for time served since July 17, 2008.
Masson merged the charges of rape, burglary and aggravated assault, which carry a sentence of 20 years with fines not to exceed $20,000. The second-degree homicide charge carries a fine not to exceed $50,000. Masson considered the offense gravity score, which rates each of the charges, with rape being 12 points, assault 11 points, burglary nine points and one point for a prior record.
According to Masson, the court has no discretion in crafting a sentence for second-degree homicide.