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KIMBELL TRIAL Other testimony



Published: Thu, May 2, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Closing arguments in the killings of Bonnie Lou Dryfuse, her daughters Jacqueline, 7, and Heather, 4, and her niece Stephanie Herko, 5, were expected this morning. The jury was to start deliberating this afternoon.Wednesday, the defense tried to paint Thomas Dryfuse, husband and father of three of the victims, as a suspect. Robert Wargo, the now-retired Pennsylvania State Police trooper who was in charge of securing the scene, said Dryfuse appeared fresh and was not sweating on that 90-degree day.Kevin Marinelli, a death row prisoner in the state correctional facility in Greene County, Pa., rebutted statements made previously by Kimbell's cellmate. Peter Michael Karenbauer, who is on death row for killing an 8-year-old Lawrence County girl, previously testified that Thomas Kimbell told him he killed Bonnie Dryfuse and the children over a bad drug deal. Karenbauer refused to testify in this trial and his previous testimony was read to jurors. Marinelli said Karenbauer told him he lied because the investigating officers and district attorney forced him to. Prosecutors questioned Marinelli about how "snitches," inmates who testify against others, are viewed in prison.Prosecutors have maintained that Thomas Kimbell, a crack addict, killed in his search for more drugs. Larry Elbaum, a psychiatrist who specializes in treating people with addictions, testified about crack addiction. He said a person on a crack binge will get high and then look for more crack. That cycle generally repeats itself over a few days and then the person's body will give out and he will sleep. Elbaum's testimony was needed to rebut the testimony of Dr. Bennet Omalu, a forensic expert, who said someone in a drug-induced frenzy who killed four people would likely just fall asleep at the murder scene and would be unable to conceal the murder weapon because of the energy expended. Elbaum said crack addicts are extremely paranoid and would be capable of trying to hide a crime. Police have testified Kimbell told them he went to New Castle on June 15, 1994, to attend a meeting for recovering addicts, but instead got high on crack cocaine and then walked home. Kimbell also admitted he later stole his father's watch and traded it for more crack that evening.




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