Jurors hear Lackawanna woman was stabbed 30 times

Posted at 12:35 PM, Jun 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-29 12:35:09-04

Closing statements wrapped up in the case against 27-year-old Daniel Whiting, facing second degree murder charges in the death of his wife, Ashley.

Prosecutors say it was Whiting who killed his wife last July inside their Lackawanna home.  

Assistant District Attorney Colleen Curtin Gable told jurors Whiting stabbed his wife 30 times.  Curtin Gable said Whiting is guilty of murder.  She argued he intended to kill Ashley Whiting and tried to make it seem like someone else killed his wife.

"He had plenty of time to stage things and then kill his wife," Curtin Gable said in her closing statements.  "This defendant murdered his wife...plain and simple," she said.

The ADA says the woman was stabbed in her neck, chest, back and leg.  These stab wounds, the ADA argued, killed Ashley Whiting.

During interviews with Lackawanna police officers, Curtin Gable reported Whiting telling investigators "there had been bad times" in their marriage.  The ADA also said Whiting made contradictory statements during those interviews.

Curtin Gable characterized Whiting as "eerily calm" when speaking with police, showing no emotion when they told the defendant his wife was dead.

Jurors heard testimony from expert witnesses in the days before these closing statements.

Curtin Gable reiterated testimony from investigators, explaining Ashley Whiting was unable to speak when police asked who had brutalized her.  The prosecutor said she was only able to gurgle, because her vocal cords had been cut.

Describing the scene, Curtin Gable said there were no signs of forced entry.  She questioned why Ashley Whiting was stabbed 30 times and Daniel Whiting was left with fewer, less serious wounds.

"It makes no sense that a phantom stabber would leave Daniel Whiting alive," Curtin Gable said.  

Whiting's defense attorney Andrew LoTempio argued prosecutors didn't prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt.  

LoTempio urged jurors to look at all the evidence with an open mind.  "There's reasonable doubt because...Whiting's story makes sense," he said.  "The District Attorney presumed he was guilty."

While arguing his case, the defense attorney said investigators from the Lackawanna police department picked and chose pieces of evidence to document to make it seem like Daniel Whiting is guilty.  "This was the easy way out," Andrew LoTempio said.  "Who did this?  I have no idea," he said.

Lawyers argued their cases in front of the jury for two hours.  They broke for lunch just before 11:30 a.m. Wednesday.

They were expected to reconvene at 1:00 p.m., at which point they would be charged by Judge Kenneth Case.