Published On: Thu, Oct 16th, 2014

Margaret Kriek murder case: Craig Rugg, Paul Bannasch kidnapped, tortured her before murder

Prosecutors in the Margaret Kriek murder case are arguing for the judge to permit evidence which points to two suspects kidnapping and torturing the woman prior to her death.

photo JRLibby

photo JRLibby

Craig Rugg, 25, and Paul Bannasch, 25, are charged in Fayette County in the June 2013 death of Margaret (“Peggy Sue”) Kriek, 52, of Connellsville, Pennsylvania.

The Herald-Standard reports that Rugg’s attorneys want prosecutors barred from seeking the death penalty because they cannot prove Kriek was kidnapped or tortured.

Assistant District Attorney Anthony Iannamoelli Jr. argued Tuesday that there was evidence that Kriek was alive when she was allegedly beaten and assaulted.

In a taped confession played in court last year, Rugg said that he and Bannasch kicked and stomped the woman. Rugg says he only stopped when his own foot began to hurt.

Prosecutors say the men were unaffected by the murder. They allegedly visited a bar called Sidewinder’s, then grabbed dinner at McDonald’s after dumping the victim’s body in the water.

Witnesses saw them walking with Kriek by the nearby Amtrak train platform, police said. Police found some of Kriek’s clothing near the train platform, as well as drag marks and blood that led to the river, according to the affidavit. They discovered additional clothing on the riverbank.

There are also witnesses who have stated that the two men dragged her sister against her will from the bar.

Both defendants also want prosecutors barred from using their statements to police.

He official cause of death was ruled to be strangulation.

Members of a local Boy Scout troop discovered Kriek’s nude body floating in the Youghiogheny River just before 10 a.m. Saturday, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed by Trooper Nathaniel Lieberum.

They are facing charges of homicide and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse.


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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at theglobaldispatch@gmail ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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