Police: Philly doc pleaded for life during attack

Print
Email
|

Associated Press

Posted on April 10, 2013 at 1:03 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 10 at 1:03 PM

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Authorities say a Philadelphia pediatrician pleaded for her life as she was strangled by an exterminator working in her home this year.

That's according to a statement from 37-year-old suspect Jason Smith that police read in court Wednesday. A judge then ordered Smith held for trial on charges including murder and arson.

According to Smith's statement, he attacked 35-year-old Melissa Ketunuti in the basement of her downtown home Jan. 21 after she criticized his work.

The statement says Smith choked her, tied her up and set a fire to destroy evidence. Surveillance video from nearby businesses helped lead to Smith's arrest a few days later at his Levittown home.

Smith's lawyer did not immediately return a request for comment.

Ketunuti was a researcher at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Print
Email
|