SHANNON KOS SLAYING Convict's relatives take stand in trial
Police say they found Shannon's lighter at the home of one of the murder suspects.
By LAURE CIOFFI
VINDICATOR NEW CASTLE BUREAU
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- The sister and brother-in-law of a man convicted in the death of 12-year-old Shannon Leigh Kos say a large knife was dropped off at their home shortly after the slaying by another man accused in the girl's death.
Christina and Larry Myers of Salem, Ohio, testified Tuesday in the homicide trial of Perry S. Ricciardi, 22, formerly of Struthers.
Christina Myers is the sister of William Monday. Monday, 23, pleaded guilty to homicide charges last year in Shannon's death and is serving a life sentence.
Myers, her husband and two children were living on Poland Avenue in Struthers with her mother, Gloria, and brother when Shannon, of Youngstown, died Oct. 8, 2000.
David Garvey, 22, a third suspect in the killing, also was living at the Poland Avenue home then, Christina Myers said.
Myers said Ricciardi called her Oct. 13, 2000, to say he was bringing over a survival-type knife that her brother had asked him to hold.
When police later searched the Monday house, they confiscated the knife from the top of a coffee table in the living room, she said.
Police officers have testified that Ricciardi told them he had the knife when the three men took Shannon to a secluded section of Mahoning Township, Lawrence County. The knife, however, was not the murder weapon, police said.
Shannon's throat was slit, and she was stabbed multiple times with another knife that Ricciardi identified as belonging to Garvey, police said. Police later recovered that knife in Lake Hamilton in Struthers.
Shannon's body was later burned, police said.
Joseph Vascetti, a Pennsylvania State Police trooper, testified that they also confiscated bloody clothes, shoes, a box of wooden matches and other items after serving two search warrants in a two-day period on the Poland Avenue home.
Vascetti noted they also found a red, butane lighter in their last search. Ricciardi told police the lighter was Shannon's and one of the men kept it as a memento of her death.
The state trooper added that police found a Taco Bell receipt in Monday's car with the time and date as 5:53 p.m. Oct. 8.
Ricciardi had told police that when Monday picked him up about 6 p.m. Oct. 8, Shannon was in the back seat eating nacho chips from Taco Bell.
Police have said Shannon initially went willingly with the men whom she had met a few weeks earlier, but was later held against her will when they decided to rape and kill her.
Defense lawyer Dennis A. Elisco spent the early part of Tuesday's testimony questioning a state police corporal about Ricciardi's statement to police.
Cpl. John Ryhal said Ricciardi willingly came to state police headquarters the day he was arrested and told police about his activities the day Shannon died.
Ricciardi could face the death penalty if convicted of homicide charges. He also faces charges of criminal conspiracy to commit homicide, kidnapping, unlawful restraint, criminal conspiracy to commit rape and abuse of a corpse.
Garvey is awaiting trial on the same charges.