Trial Begins for Woman Who Killed Her Lover with a Claw Hammer

A special trial has opened for a western Pennsylvania woman who shot her female lover twice in the head before also hitting her in the face with a claw hammer.

The defense acknowledges 28-year-old Erin Everett did those things to 21-year-old Tory Minnick after lying in bed together in Everett's parents' home in Jerome.

What's being contested is whether the March 2011 killing is first-degree murder carrying a life sentence or third-degree, which carries a maximum 20- to 40-year prison term.

Somerset County District Attorney Lisa Lazzari-Strasiser wants a judge to find Everett guilty of first-degree murder. Everett's attorney argues it was a crime of passion deserving the lesser verdict.

Prosecutors say Everett was upset because Minnick was also spending time with her ex-boyfriend.

Police say Everett called 911 and initially claimed an intruder killed Minnick.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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