Memorial website in the memory of your loved one
Timeline
 
February 27th, 1994

Gabrielle Miranda Bechen was born in Morgantown, West Virginia
at 11:43am on Sunday the 27th day of February 1994.

Gabby weighted 6 pounds 15 ounces  20 1/4 inches

 
Tuesday, June 13th, 2006

Gabby left the house in the morning on her quad.

Gabby was murdered at the farm that was walking distance from our home.

 
Sunday, June 18th, 2006
Father's Day.  They found Gabby's body buried on the farm.  

Gabby's Death Certificate says Sunday June 18th, 2006 because that is the day her body was found and legally they can't say she is deceased until her body was found.
 
Wednesday, June 21st, 2006
Gabby's viewing was today.  Closed casket, there was a video slide of pictures of her with her favorite music playing.  She had many visitors.
 
Thursday, June 22nd, 2006
The funeral was today. 
 
April 23rd, 2008 - Wednesday
Jury selection starts.
 
May 1st, 2008 - Thursday

The trial starts at the Greene County Courthouse.  Time 8:30 a.m.

Several people of the law enforcement testified along with 2 neighbor children and Gabby's Parents.

 
May 3rd - Observer Reporter Newspaper
DNA ineffective in murder trial

By Cara Host, Staff writer
chost@observer-reporter.com

WAYNESBURG - The murder case against Jeffrey Robert Martin will not include any DNA evidence, perhaps because the five days that it took to find and exhume the young victim's body eliminated it, according to testimony offered Friday in Greene County Court.

A forensic scientist testified that she examined several hairs and fibers that were collected from Gabrielle Miranda Bechen's body and from the soil where she was buried. None of those items could be linked to Martin, 50, of New Geneva. The girl's body showed signs of sexual assault, but investigators also could not find any evidence of semen or other bodily fluids that could be tested and linked to Martin.




Martin has confessed to strangling the 12-year-old girl nearly two years ago, but prosecutors have not yet introduced the confession tape or transcript to the jury. He also is charged with sexual assault, but he has denied that charge. The trial will continue at 8:30 a.m. Monday.

State police troopers and agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation spent several hours sifting the dirt and lime that was removed from Gabrielle's grave. They found numerous foreign objects that they thought could have been evidence, but lab tests proved inconclusive.

Chris A. Arrotti, manager of the state police crime laboratory in Greensburg, also examined samples of apparent foreign substances found on the girl's body as well as swabs taken from her mouth, vagina and rectum. She could not confirm any evidence of semen or blood in any of those items.


By the time investigators exhumed the girl's body, she had been dead for at least three days, testified Dr. Cyril Wecht, the forensic pathologist who performed the autopsy. Time, as well as the dirt and lime that was placed on top of the body, may have erased any DNA evidence that may have existed, Arrotti indicated.

Bacteria, moisture, soil and various other factors could have deteriorated any trace evidence to the point of uselessness, according to Arrotti.

"They are innumerable because biological substances are delicate and fragile," she said.

Gabrielle went missing from her home in Dunkard Township June 13, 2006, and numerous volunteers, police officers and others spent about five days scouring the woods on the farm looking for her. The girl eventually was found buried and Martin was arrested and charged with her murder.

During the autopsy, Wecht said he found bruising in the girl's genitals that apparently was caused by a blunt object, possibly from sexual intercourse. The injury occurred within an hour of her death because her body did not have any evidence of white blood cells that respond to help heal the body shortly after injury, Wecht said. The girl apparently died before this process, known as a vital reaction, could occur.

Defense attorney Harry Cancelmi asked Wecht about an article written by another forensic scientist that proposed that the vital reaction could take up to four hours to manifest after injury. Wecht disagreed with the article and said it was his experience that the process occured in a much shorter time frame.

A photograph of the girl's genitals that was taken during the autopsy was displayed to the jury to show the red discoloration. Jurors also saw a black and white photo of the girl's neck, which showed numerous bruises that Wecht said were caused by manual strangulation.

The girl also had bruises on her head that could have been inflicted if she tried to struggle with her attacker, Wecht said. The body also showed signs of decomposition and discoloration caused by the lime that was placed on top of her.

Martin's former employer testified Friday that he sent what she called a blackmail letter about a month after he was arrested.

Martin apparently wrote the letter from Greene County Jail and sent it to Traci Hammond of Greensboro. Hammond and her husband, Jack Montgomery, own the 300-acre farm where Martin worked as a caretaker.

In the letter dated July 25, 2006, Martin demanded to be paid for the week prior to his arrest or he would report Hammond to the Internal Revenue Service, Hammond said. Martin wanted to be paid for the week during which police claim he strangled Gabrielle to death and then tried to hide the evidence from police.

Martin was not allowed in the Hammond and Montgomery home while he worked there, but he wrote in the letter that he obtained a key and took a calendar, in which Hammond logged Martin's hours, from a desk in the home.

Martin had worked on the farm sporadically since the late 1990s, Hammond said. His tasks included mowing, cleaning the horse stalls and dog kennel and other tasks necessary for the upkeep of the farm.

"He didn't have set hours; he would just come and go as he pleased," Hammond said.

Because of his job, Martin had access to various farm equipment, including a small backhoe that he allegedly used to dig the grave where Gabrielle's body was found.

Gabrielle was not allowed on the farm when Hammond was not home, but the girl frequently rode her child-sized all-terrain vehicle to the farm to visit the animals.

"There were a couple of the dogs that she really liked and she liked to pet the horses and feed them grass," Hammond testified.

Hammond said she received a voice mail message from Gabrielle the night before her disappearance. The girl asked Hammond to call her back because she wanted to ride horses the next day. Gabrielle also said she met Martin that day and he showed her some of the horse-riding trails.

 
May 5th - Observer Reporter Newspaper
Martin watched search

As scores of volunteers and police officers searched in vain for 12-year-old Gabrielle Bechen nearly two years ago, Jeffrey Robert Martin watched from the horse farm where he worked, according to testimony offered Monday morning in Greene County Court.
Martin, 50, of New Geneva, is on trial for the girl's murder.

Two state police troopers testified that they saw Martin watching them as they led search crews near the farm in Dunkard Township. Once Martin realized that some of the crew members noticed him, he quickly turned away, said Sgt. Kevin Kolson and Cpl. William Barnhart.

After Gabrielle went missing June 13, 2006, a massive search of the area ensued for about five days. Volunteers eventually found the girl's all-terrain vehicle, which led to Martin's arrest and eventual confession.

Assistant District Attorney Linda Chambers called several troopers who were involved in Martin's arrest Monday morning. She appeared to be laying the groundwork to introduce Martin's confession, in which he admitted to strangling the girl and burying her body, along with her ATV, helmet and shoes.
 
May 6th - Oberserver Reporter Newspaper

Warden: Martin wanted death penalty 

By Cara Host, Staff writer
chost@observer-reporter.com

WAYNESBURG - A day after he was arrested for the murder of a 12-year-old girl, Jeffrey Robert Martin said he did it, he planned to plead guilty and he wanted the death penalty, according to testimony offered Monday in Greene County Court.

That incident was one of two confessions presented during the third day of Martin's trial. Jurors also heard from Martin himself, through a taped confession that was played.

Martin, 50, of New Geneva, is accused of sexually assaulting and killing Gabrielle Miranda Bechen of Greensboro nearly two years ago. The prosecution is seeking the death penalty in the case.

Harry Gillispie, warden at Greene County Jail, testified that he met with Martin to inform him that he would be placed in protective custody. Gillispie said other inmates threatened Martin, so he had to be isolated from the general population for his safety.

"He said, 'I know; I did it. I'm going to plead guilty and I'm going to ask for the death penalty,'" Gillispie said. Later, Martin said he did not molest the girl.


The warden said he didn't specifically ask Martin if he committed the crime. The conversation was merely to explain the process of protective custody, but Martin blurted out the information anyway.

Martin also confessed to state police, and the prosecution played a recording for the jury. On the recording, Martin sounds relatively calm as he describes how he choked the girl and buried her body, as well as her all-terrain vehicle and belongings.

Martin says he encountered Gabrielle about 8:10 a.m. on the date of her disappearance, June 13, 2006. She rode her ATV to the farm and told Martin that she was going to tell her parents he molested her and that her parents were going to sue Martin and the owner of the farm, Traci Hammond.

Martin says on the tape that he grabbed the girl and asked, "Why would you say something like that?"

Gabrielle jumped off her ATV and tried to run away, but she fell and Martin jumped on her.

"I'm still scared and panicked and I started choking her," Martin says. At this point, Trooper Thomas Schuster, the chief investigator in the case, asks him how long he choked the girl.

"Oh, it was a good while," Martin replies.

"Until she stopped moving?" Schuster asks.

"Yeah," Martin says.

Members of the Bechen family quietly cried as the tape was being played.

On the recording, Martin also describes how he placed the body in the back of a Kawasaki Mule utility vehicle, drove to a burn pile adjacent to Mt. Joy Road and used a backhoe to dig a grave. He says he then placed the body in the grave, dumped lime and the lime bags on top of her, and covered the hole.

Martin explains on the tape how he tried to dispose of the girl's ATV. He used the Mule to transport the ATV to a hollow elsewhere on the farm and tried to dig a pit by hand, but he was unable to get the hole very deep because of rocks and a gas line. So, he placed the ATV in the shallow hole, flattened its tires, tried to push the handlebars down and finally dumped manure over the vehicle to hide it. He says that he buried her helmet and shoes in separate holes nearby.

Volunteers Kim and Larry Bedillion of Waynesburg found the ATV on day five of the search for the girl, which led to Martin's arrest and eventual confession.

The confession did not come quickly and defense attorneys Harry Cancelmi and Ryan Armstrong questioned several troopers about their interrogation tactics during cross examination. The defense has claimed Martin was locked in a hot car for hours and he was denied food, water and an attorney.

At first, Martin denied knowing Gabrielle's whereabouts and he stated that he thought he needed an attorney during initial questioning, according to Schuster and several other troopers. The interview stopped there and Martin was placed in a police car under guard.

It was warm that day, but several troopers testified that the car was parked in the shade with the windows down. After about three hours, Martin apparently summoned a state constable, William Lewis Jr., who was standing nearby. Lewis testified Monday that he has known Martin for a few years.

At the time, police officers were searching the area where the ATV was found. So, Martin told Lewis that he wanted to save them time because the girl was not in that area, Lewis said.

That exchange led to a second round of questioning in which Martin told police that a fat, bald guy from Bobtown driving a white pickup truck offered him $100 to bury the ATV.

Troopers didn't buy the explanation and some of them became angry over what they perceived to be a lie. He stuck to his story until several troopers began begging him to tell them the whereabouts of Gabrielle.

"I have never said please to someone in handcuffs in my career," said Cpl. William Barnhart. "I was out of options at that point. Nothing else seemed to work, so I pleaded with him to tell us where she was."

Schuster, Barnhart and Trooper Mark Schmelzlen all testified that Martin eventually agreed to take the troopers to the places where he buried her helmet and shoes and, finally, where he buried her body.

Two state police troopers also testified that they saw Martin watching them as they led search crews near the farm in Dunkard Township. Once Martin realized that some of the crew members noticed him, he quickly turned away, said Sgt. Kevin Kolson and Barnhart.

 

Martin testifies someone else killed Gabrielle Bechen

Jeffrey Robert Martin testified at his murder trial Tuesday that he merely helped a man bury a quad and watched as the man commandeered a backhoe to dig a grave.
Martin, 51, of New Geneva took the stand in his defense. His attorney, Harry Cancelmi, was in the middle questioning him when the court recessed for lunch. The commonwealth rested its case earlier in the morning.

Martin is accused of sexually assaulting and killing 12-year-old Gabrielle Bechen of Greensboro nearly two years ago.

Martin testified he did not see the girl on the date of her disappearance, but he did encounter a "young looking guy with long brown hair," who stopped his older white pickup truck near the horse farm where Martin worked.


The man offered Martin $100 for his help in disposing of an all-terrain vehicle. The man said he wanted to recoup insurance money, according to Martin.

"I didn't really think about it. I just went along with it and (told him) I guess there's somewhere we could get rid of it," Martin said from the witness stand.

So, the men buried the ATV in a hollow beside a horse trail, but they couldn't dig the pit very deep before they hit rock. Martin said the man flattened the tires and had Martin drive his Kawasaki Mule, a farm utility vehicle, over the ATV to push it into the hole. Eventually, he decided to just cover the ATV with dirt, Martin said. Martin also said he watched as the man also dug holes nearby to bury a helmet and shoes.


Later, Martin said he peered into the cab of the man's truck and saw what appeared to be a body under a coat. The man told him there was an accident, Martin said.

"I got scared and confused. I didn't know what to do," Martin testified.

Martin said he told the man that he didn't want anything more to do with the situation, so he went back to work. However, the man found a backhoe on the farm property and took it to a gravel pile and burn pit nearby. Martin said he could hear the backhoe working and when the noise stopped, he went to the gravel pile.

The man approached Martin and said, "I'm going to show you where I buried her," Martin said. He also told him how deep he dug the grave and how he poured lime and threw the lime bags on top of the body, Martin said.

 
May 7th - Obeserver Reporter Newspaper

Defendant points to other man 

By Cara Host, Staff writer
chost@observer-reporter.com

WAYNESBURG - Several state police troopers lied and coerced a confession just so they could have someone to blame for a 12-year-old girl's death, Jeffrey Robert Martin said Tuesday from the witness stand during his trial in Greene County Court.

Martin, 51, of New Geneva, confessed to killing Gabrielle Bechen of Greensboro nearly two years ago. But, he said Tuesday that police officers tortured him and forced him to admit to the crime.

Martin was the sole defense witness and he testified for most of the day Tuesday. Attorneys for both sides will deliver their closing arguments at 8:30 a.m. today, and the case should be handed to the jury for deliberation later today. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty in the case.

Martin testified he did not kill Gabrielle, but he did encounter the man who may have killed her. On the day the girl went missing, June 13, 2006, he said he helped a man bury the girl's all-terrain vehicle and watched as the man commandeered a backhoe to dig a grave.

Martin said a man driving an older white Ford pickup truck approached him near the horse farm where he worked and offered him $100 to help him dispose of an ATV. The man, whom Martin described was a "young-looking guy with long brown hair."


"I didn't really think about it. I just went along with it and (told him) I guess there's somewhere we could get rid of it," Martin said from the witness stand.

So the men buried the ATV in a hollow near a horse trail and creek, but they couldn't dig the pit very deep before they hit rock. Martin said the man flattened the tires and tried to push it into the hole. Eventually, they covered the ATV with dirt, Martin said. Martin also said he watched as the man dug holes nearby to bury a helmet and shoes.

Later, Martin said he peered into the cab of the man's truck and saw what appeared to be a body under a coat. The man told him there was an accident, Martin said.

"I got scared and confused. I didn't know what to do," Martin testified.

Martin said he told the man that he didn't want anything more to do with the situation, so he went back to work. However, the man found a backhoe on the farm property and took it to a gravel pile and burn pit nearby. Martin said he could hear the backhoe working and when the noise stopped, he went to the gravel pile to retrieve the backhoe.

The man approached Martin and said, "I'm going to show you where I buried her," Martin recounted. The man also told Martin how deep he dug the grave and how he poured lime and threw the lime bags on top of the body, Martin said.

Martin seemed calm as he testified, but he appeared confused at some points, particularly when Assistant District Attorney Linda Chambers pressed him on details.

Numerous people searched for Gabrielle for about five days and during that time, Martin denied knowing anything about the girl's disappearance because he said he was confused and scared.

"They were looking for a little girl. What were you scared of?" Chambers asked.

"I was just afraid," Martin replied. "When you're scared and confused, that affects you from doing the right thing. It does for me anyway."

However, Martin said he was not worried about searchers finding the ATV that he helped hide on the farm property.

"If they found it, they found it," he said.

Two volunteer searchers, Kim and Larry Bedillion of Waynesburg, did find the ATV on the fifth day of the search for Gabrielle and it led to Martin's arrest and eventual confession.

Martin said he tried to tell police about the man in the truck, but they didn't believe him and told him to say that he choked the girl. Martin said police coached him about what to say during his taped confession, which was recorded about five hours after his arrest.

"I told it the way they wanted it," Martin said.

On the tape, Martin is rather detailed when he describes how he choked the girl and buried her body. The girl ran, Martin said, and he jumped on top of her and choked her until she stopped moving.

Martin testified Tuesday that he "just added" those details as he was talking to make the police officers happy.

Martin said police tortured him by holding him in a hot car with the windows rolled up and that one of the troopers screamed at him and punched him in the chest with his fist. He also said he asked for an attorney 12 to 15 times, but troopers refused to provide him with one.

"There was two or three times I thought I was going to lose consciousness because of the heat," Martin said of the hot car.
Several troopers and a state constable testified earlier that the car was parked in the shade and the windows were rolled down to provide ventilation. Sgt. Kevin Kolson said he yelled at Martin, and to gain his attention, Kolson poked Martin in the chest with his outstretched hand. Kolson said the force he used was not enough to injure. Several other troopers confirmed Kolson's account.

Troopers also testified that Martin indicated once that he wanted an attorney. At that point, questioning stopped and they held him in the car for a few hours until they could take him to be arraigned. Troopers only resumed questioning when Martin summoned an officer and told him he wanted to talk.

Martin said the troopers, the state constable and others lied when they testified earlier in the trial. He also said Greene County Warden Harry Gillispie lied when he testified about Martin's jailhouse confession. Gillispie said that Martin told him he did it, he planned to plead guilty and he wanted the death penalty.

"I didn't tell him that. I said if they are going to charge an innocent person with this, they can give me the death penalty," Martin said.

Jury begins deliberating in Martin trial 


Either Jeffrey Robert Martin told a whopper from the witness stand or several state police troopers lied, or were mistaken, when they testified during Martin's murder trial.
A jury of six men and six women will now decide which story they believe. The panel started deliberations at 11:25 a.m. today in Greene County Court after attorneys for the prosecution and defense delivered their closing arguments.

Martin, 51, of New Geneva, is accused of raping and killing 12-year-old Gabrielle Miranda Bechen of Greensboro nearly two years ago.

The prosecution claims Martin confessed to strangling Gabrielle after he led troopers to the exact spot where he buried her.

Martin told jurors Tuesday that that confession was coerced and untrue. He said he had nothing to do with the girl's death.

He testified that he helped a man in a white truck bury an all-terrain vehicle and watched as the man commandeered his employer's backhoe to dig a grave.

"He wants you to believe that every single witness lied but him," First Assistant District Attorney Linda Chambers said in her closing argument.

Martin's attorney, Public Defender Harry Cancelmi, stressed that investigators could find no body fluids, DNA, hair or clothing fibers on the girl's body. He suggested that some of the officers could have been mistaken, or they could have been lying when they testified about Martin's statements and treatment after his arrest.

"Every one of us sees (things) in our own eyes, in our own interest," Cancelmi said.

Martin said police tortured him by holding him in a hot car for hours and that one trooper struck him in an effort to force a confession.

"Well, let's call a spade a spade. It's not torture. It's not voluntary. So, in between is coerced," Cancelmi said.

Martin jury fails to reach verdict

The jury in the trial of Jeffrey Martin, who is accused of strangling 12-year-old Gabrielle Bechen two years ago, was sent home shortly after 4 p.m. Wednesday after failing to reach a verdict.
The jury was instructed to return Thursday morning to resume deliberations.

The commonwealth is seeking a first-degree murder conviction against Martin.

 
May 8th, 2008 - Thursday
The Jury came back with Guilty of all charges!!!!  The Penalty phase begins.
 
May 8th - Observer Reporter Newspaper

Jurors mulling murder case

By Cara Host, Staff writer
chost@observer-reporter.com

WAYNESBURG - Either Jeffrey Robert Martin told a whopper from the witness stand or several state police troopers lied or were mistaken when they testified during Martin's murder trial.

A jury of six men and six women is now trying decide which story they believe. The jurors deliberated for about five hours Wednesday in Greene County Court, and they will resume deliberations at 8:30 a.m. today.

Martin, 51, of New Geneva, is accused of raping and killing 12-year-old Gabrielle Miranda Bechen of Greensboro nearly two years ago. If convicted, he could be sentenced to death.

Attorneys for the prosecution and defense also delivered their closing arguments Wednesday.

"I'm not asking you to feel sorry for Gabby. I'm not asking you to feel sorry for her parents. I'm asking for justice," First Assistant District Attorney Linda Chambers said.

Chambers reminded jurors of Martin's taped confession, in which he describes in detail how he killed the girl and buried her body on the horse farm where he worked.

Martin's attorney, Public Defender Harry Cancelmi, said that confession may have been coerced and suggested that Martin's testimony, in which he blames another man for Gabrielle's death, provided enough reasonable doubt for jurors to acquit him of murder.

For five days after Gabrielle disappeared on June 13, 2006, numerous volunteers and police officers scoured the area around the girl's Dunkard Township home. The major break in the case occurred on the fifth day, when two volunteers, Kim and Larry Bedillion of Waynesburg, found the girl's all-terrain vehicle.

This discovery led to Martin's arrest and his eventual confession. He also led police to the exact spot where Gabrielle was buried.

Martin testified Tuesday that the confession was coerced and untrue. He said that police officers tortured him by holding him in a hot car for hours and that one trooper struck him in an effort to force a confession. He also said he asked for an attorney numerous times, but officers refused to provide him with one and continued asking questions.

"Well, let's call a spade a spade. It's not torture. It's not voluntary. So, in between is coerced," Cancelmi said.

Several state troopers testified earlier in the trial that he was not punched, he was not abused and Martin never directly asked for an attorney. While it took some time for Martin to confess, once he started talking, he did so willingly, several officers testified.

"He wants you to believe that every single witness lied but him," Chambers said of Martin.

Cancelmi suggested that some of the officers could have been mistaken, or they could have been lying.

"Every one of us sees (things) in our own eyes, in our own interest," Cancelmi said.

Martin told the jury that he had nothing to do with the girl's death and claimed that someone else was responsible. He said that he helped a man from Bobtown driving a white truck bury an ATV and watched as the man commandeered his employer's backhoe to dig a grave.

He claimed that he knew details about her burial because the man in the white truck told him exactly where he buried her and how he dumped lime and lime bags on top of her.

In Martin's taped confession, he said he choked the girl, but Martin claimed he only said that because state police Cpl. William Barnhart coerced him into saying it. However, Martin confessed hours before Gabrielle's body was unearthed, and before her cause of death became apparent.

"Corporal Barnhart must be clairvoyant," Chambers said. "How would the police officer know that before the body was even taken from the grave?"

Cancelmi stressed in his argument that investigators could find no body fluids, DNA, hair or clothing fibers that could be traced to Martin on the girl's body. Chambers said that the girl was dead for five days and the lime damaged her body and could have destroyed any evidence.

Martin has been charged with homicide, aggravated assault, rape of a child, aggravated indecent assault of a child, statutory sexual assault, indecent assault, abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence. The case will progress to the penalty phase and jurors will decide whether Martin gets life in prison or the death penalty only if they find him guilty of first degree murder and either rape or aggravated indecent assault.

The jurors asked one question during their deliberations Wednesday. They asked Judge H. Terry Grimes to repeat the elements of the sexual assault crimes as well as aggravated assault.

Martin guilty of first-degree murder
Observer-Reporter 

A Greene County jury convicted Jeffrey Robert Martin on all counts, including first-degree murder and child rape, Thursday morning.
The jury of six men and six women deliberated for just over six hours Wednesday and Thursday before they decided Martin was guilty of raping and killing 12-year-old Gabrielle Bechen of Greensboro over two years ago.

Members of the Bechen family cried quietly as the verdict was read. Martin, 51, of New Geneva did not appear to show any emotion as the court clerk read, “Guilty,” after each of the eight charges against him.

During a court recess, reporters asked Martin if he had any comment, he replied, “Go get it off somebody else.”

The case will now progress to the sentencing phase which began at 11 a.m. today.

Attorneys for the commonwealth will argue that Martin should be sentenced to death by attempting to prove aggravating circumstances surround the girl’s murder. Some of those circumstances may include the rape of the girl.

Meanwhile, Martin’s defense team will attempt to convince jurors that Martin should be sentenced to life in prison because of mitigating factors.

The jury found Martin guilty of first degree murder, aggravated assault, rape of a child, aggravated indecent assault of a child, statutory sexual assault, indecent assault, abuse of a corpse and four counts of tampering with evidence.

 
May 9th, 2008 - Friday
The penalty given to him is Death by lethal injection!!!!!!! 
 
May 9th - Observer Reporter Newspaper

Martin guilty on all charges 

By Cara Host, Staff writer
chost@observer-reporter.com

WAYNESBURG - A Greene County jury Thursday convicted Jeffrey Robert Martin on all counts, including first-degree murder and child rape, and the panel is now deciding if Martin should be sentenced to death or life in prison.

The jury of six men and six women deliberated for just over six hours Wednesday and Thursday before they decided Martin was guilty of raping and killing 12-year-old Gabrielle Bechen of Greensboro more than two years ago.

Members of the Bechen family cried quietly as the verdict was read. Martin, 51, of New Geneva did not appear to show any emotion as the court clerk read, "Guilty," after each of the eight charges against him.

"I am very happy with the verdict, but I couldn't have done it without these fine police officers," said First Assistant District Attorney Linda Chambers, referring to state Trooper Thomas Schuster, Cpl. William Barnhart and others who investigated the crime. "They did a fantastic job on this case."

The penalty phase of the case will continue at 8:30 a.m. today.
"The cloak of innocence has been lifted. Jeffrey Martin is now deemed a murderer, convicted of killing Gabrielle Bechen," said Greene County District Attorney Marjorie Fox, who is leading the prosecution in the penalty phase of the case.

She said in her opening statement Thursday that the commonwealth already has established two aggravating circumstances at trial that could lead jurors to conclude Martin should be put to death. Martin sexually assaulted Gabrielle, and he killed her to keep her quiet, Fox said.

Fox called one witness, Shannon Presock, Gabrielle's cousin and neighbor, who tearfully explained how the girl's death affected her and her family. Presock said that Gabrielle was a "tomboy, but still a princess." While she was small, she did not shirk from playing rough with the boys in the neighborhood.

"I miss the little things like opening my blinds and seeing Gabby make faces at me, or yelling at her for fighting with the boys, or chasing me around the yard with a bug," Presock said.
When Gabrielle went missing, Presock said she thought she would come back home.

"As the search went on, I prayed for a reasonable excuse for why she had not returned," Presock said. "Why? She didn't deserve this. Nobody deserves this."

Martin's defense team will attempt to convince jurors that Martin should be sentenced to life in prison because of mitigating factors. Martin's attorney, Harry Cancelmi, told the jurors that Martin's background and personal history could persuade them to show mercy.

Regardless of the sentence, "he will remain apart from society forevermore," Cancelmi said. "It will be your choice if Mr. Martin should remain ... in prison for the remainder of his life or if he should be killed."

The defense called two of Martin's eight siblings, who testified about the difficult childhood they experienced. The family lived for a time in Mather, where the house was often dirty and there often was not enough food to eat.

Jeffrey Martin's older brother, Donald Martin of Nemacolin, said that his mother spent her money on alcohol rather than food. Eventually, Donald Martin decided to run away and live with his father, but Jeffrey Martin remained at the house in Mather.

"It was a struggle," Donald Martin said. "Every day, I was waking up in dirty clothes and going to school in dirty clothes. I couldn't take it anymore, so I ran away."

Marc Tabackman, a forensic psychologist, examined Martin to find mitigating circumstances that could be presented during the penalty phase.

"Mr. Martin was also a victim over the years of many things," Tabackman testified.

Jeffrey Martin was apparently hit by a car when he was 6 years old, and the resulting head injury may have affected his mental development and his ability to make decisions, said Tabackman.

Tabackman estimated that Martin has an intelligence quotient of 70 to 75, well below the average IQ of 100. Tabackman also said Martin has a history of being abused physically and sexually as a child and young adult.

During cross-examination, Fox noted that Tabackman's primary source of information concerning Martin's background is Martin, himself.

The jury found Martin guilty of first-degree murder, aggravated assault, rape of a child, aggravated indecent assault of a child, statutory sexual assault, indecent assault, abuse of a corpse and four counts of tampering with evidence.

Martin raped and strangled Gabrielle June 13, 2006, when she came to the Dunkard Township horse farm where he worked. He then used a backhoe to dig a grave, where he placed her body, and hid her all-terrain vehicle and belongings elsewhere on the farm.

Searchers looked for the girl for five days before two volunteers found the girl's ATV. That discovery led to Martin's arrest and eventual confession to the killing.

He recanted that confession when he testified in his defense earlier this week and claimed another man was responsible for the girl's death.

Jury imposes death penalty on killer of 12-year-old


After about an hour of deliberation, a Greene County jury has determined that Jeffrey Robert Martin should die by lethal injection for the 2006 murder and rape of a 12-year-old girl.
The Greene County jury convicted Martin, 51, of New Geneva, of murder, child rape and other charges Thursday. The case then proceeded to the penalty phase, with the prosecution presenting aggravating circumstances to the murder, including the fact that Gabrielle Bechen of Greensboro was raped. The defense presented a psychiatrist who testified that Martin’s upbringing included neglect and physcial and mental abuse.

The jury began deliberating at about 2:25 p.m. and returned its verdict at 3:30 p.m.

Martin was a farmhand at a Dunkard Township farm near Bechen’s home where she rode her all-terrain vehicle to visit the horses when she was murdered on June 13, 2006.

 
May 10th - Observer Reporter
Jury chooses death for Martin

By Cara Host, Staff writer
chost@observer-reporter.com

WAYNESBURG - It took jurors less than an hour Friday to decide Jeffrey Robert Martin should be put to death for the rape and killing of 12-year-old Gabrielle Bechen nearly two years ago.

Members of the Bechen family cried and embraced each other after the verdict was read. Martin, 51, of New Geneva did not show much emotion throughout the seven-day trial, and he remained stoic when he learned he would receive the death penalty.

None of Martin's friends or family members pleaded with jurors to spare his life during the penalty phase. An estranged daughter, who is unsympathetic to her father's plight, was the only member of Martin's family who was in the courtroom when the jury came back with their decision.

Jennifer Martin, 24, of Greensburg, called her father a "monster" and said that death is a just sentence for him. She sat with the Bechen family and held hands with Gabrielle's mother, Blanche "Mimi" Bechen, during the proceeding.

"I'm not him. I'm Jennifer, and I had no parts of this. (The Bechen family) made sure I knew that," Jennifer Martin said to reporters after court adjourned.

When reporters asked if Jeffrey Martin ever hurt her, she replied, "No comment."

Martin's criminal history includes an indecent assault charge involving a 6-year-old girl in 1989, but that charge was withdrawn. He also was accused of molesting two children in 1975, when he was about 17.

Martin's wife, Linda Martin, came to court Thursday. She sobbed from her wheelchair but was unable to testify on her husband's behalf. The defense also planned to call Martin's mother during the penalty phase, but health issues prevented that, according to Martin's attorney, Public Defender Harry Cancelmi.

"It's been my experience that Greene County jurors are always conscientious," Cancelmi said. "I respect their decision."

Shannon Presock, Gabrielle's cousin, read a statement to reporters who were gathered outside the courtroom. She thanked members of the district attorney's office, state troopers and the volunteers who looked for Gabrielle for five days in June 2006.

"We know that Gabby is looking down and smiling because justice was served today," Presock said.

Before a death penalty sentence can be rendered in Pennsylvania, the prosecution must prove at least one aggravating circumstance. In this case, the commonwealth alleged two aggravating circumstances: That Martin killed Gabrielle in the course of raping her, and that Martin killed the girl to keep her quiet about the sexual assault.

The jury determined that both aggravating circumstances were proven.

Jurors also considered various mitigating circumstances that the defense raised. According to testimony, Martin grew up in a chaotic household rife with alcoholism, physical and sexual abuse and neglect. Martin also was determined to be borderline mentally retarded.

Cancelmi, in his closing argument, said that Martin's harsh upbringing does not excuse him from criminal responsibility, but he asked jurors to consider it as they decided an appropriate punishment.

"I ask you to have the courage to set aside your outrage and your anger," Cancelmi said. "I ask that you ignore the clamoring for vengeance in the background."

District Attorney Marjorie Fox said that the rape and killing of Gabrielle "has taken away the innocence of this community."

Gabrielle disappeared from her Dunkard Township home June 13, 2006. State troopers, federal agents and numerous volunteers looked for the girl for five days until two searchers, Kim and Larry Bedillion of Waynesburg, found the girl's all-terrain vehicle. It was buried in manure on the horse farm where Martin worked.

That discovery led to Martin's arrest and eventual confession to killing the girl and burying her body and belongings. He recanted that confession when he testified in his defense earlier this week and claimed another man was responsible for the girl's death.

Judge H. Terry Grimes will formally sentence Martin in several weeks, after a pre-sentence investigation and Megan's Law evaluation are complete.
 
June 5th - Observer Reporter
Martin sentencing scheduled

WAYNESBURG - A New Geneva man convicted and sentenced to death last month for the rape and murder of 12-year-old Gabrielle Bechen will be formally sentenced at a hearing next month.
Jeffrey R. Martin, 51, of New Geneva, was found guilty May 9 on all counts, including first-degree murder and child rape, following a six-day trial. On the following day, the jury decided Martin should be put to death for the crime.

Greene County Judge H. Terry Grimes, who presided at the trial, has scheduled Martin's formal sentencing for 9:30 a.m. July 24.

Martin was convicted of raping and strangling Bechen on June 13, 2006, when she came to the Dunkard Township horse farm where he worked. He then used a backhoe to dig a grave, where he placed her body, and hid her all-terrain vehicle and belongings elsewhere on the farm.

Searchers looked for the girl for five days before two volunteers found the girl's ATV buried in manure. That discovery led to Martin's arrest and his eventual confession to the killing.

Martin took the stand during trial to recant that confession. He claimed another man was responsible for the girl's death.

The jury deliberated about six hours before finding Martin guilty of first-degree murder, aggravated assault, rape of a child, aggravated indecent assault of a child, statutory sexual assault, indecent assault, abuse of a corpse and four counts of tampering with evidence.

It took less than one hour to decide Martin should be put to death for the crime, agreeing with aggravating circumstances presented by the prosecution that he had killed the girl in the course of raping her and killed her to keep her quiet about the sexual assault.
 
July 22, 2008 - Observer Reporter
Sentencing in 12-year-old’s murder continued

Observer-Reporter
WAYNESBURG – The formal sentencing of a New Geneva man convicted and sentenced to death for the rape and murder of 12-year-old Gabrielle Bechen has been continued pending determination of his status under the state’s Megan’s Law.

Jeffrey R. Martin, 51, was expected to be in court Thursday for his formal sentencing. However, the sentencing has been continued pending a hearing to determine whether Martin is a sexually violent predator.

On May 9, following a six-day trial, Martin was found guilty on all counts, including first-degree murder, rape and aggravated indecent assault. A day later, the jury decided Martin should be put to death for the crime.

The jury’s finding of guilt on the rape and aggravated indecent assault charges led to an order for an assessment to be completed by the state Sexual Offenders Assessment Board to determine whether Martin should be classified as a sexually violent predator, District Attorney Marjorie Fox said.

Read more in Wednesday's Observer-Reporter.
 
July 23rd, 2008 - Observer Reporter

Sentencing in 12-year-old's murder continued

Observer-Reporter
WAYNESBURG - The formal sentencing of a New Geneva man convicted and sentenced to death for the rape and murder of 12-year-old Gabrielle Bechen has been continued pending determination of his status under the state's Megan's Law.

Jeffrey R. Martin, 51, was expected to be in court Thursday for his formal sentencing. However, the sentencing has been continued pending a hearing to determine whether Martin is a sexually violent predator.

On May 9, following a six-day trial, Martin was found guilty on all counts, including first-degree murder, rape and aggravated indecent assault. A day later, the jury decided Martin should be put to death for the crime.

The jury's finding of guilt on the rape and aggravated indecent assault charges led to an order for an assessment to be completed by the state Sexual Offenders Assessment Board to determine whether Martin should be classified as a sexually violent predator, District Attorney Marjorie Fox said.

A praecipe has been filed to schedule the hearing, and the district attorney's office is awaiting a court order confirming the hearing date, she said.

Martin raped and strangled Bechen on June 13, 2006, when she came to the Dunkard Township horse farm where he worked.

He then used a backhoe to dig a grave, where he placed her body, and hid her all-terrain vehicle and belongings elsewhere on the farm.

Searchers looked for the girl for five days before two volunteers found the girl's ATV buried in manure. That discovery led to Martin's arrest and his eventual confession to the killing.

Martin took the stand during his trial to recant that confession. He claimed another man was responsible for the girl's death.

The jury deliberated about six hours before finding Martin guilty of first-degree murder, aggravated assault, rape of a child, aggravated indecent assault of a child, statutory sexual assault, indecent assault, abuse of a corpse and four counts of tampering with evidence.

It took less than an hour for jurors to decide Martin should be put to death for the crime.

Briefs

Megan's Law status holds up sentencing

WAYNESBURG - The formal sentencing of a New Geneva man convicted and sentenced to death for the rape and murder of 12-year-old Gabrielle Bechen has been continued pending determination of his status under the state's Megan's Law.


Jeffrey R. Martin, 51, was expected to be in court Thursday for his formal sentencing. However, the sentencing has been continued pending a hearing to determine whether Martin is a sexually violent predator.

On May 9, following a six-day trial, Martin was found guilty on all counts, including first-degree murder, rape and aggravated indecent assault. A day later, the jury decided Martin should be put to death for the crime.

The jury's finding of guilt on the rape and aggravated indecent assault charges led to an order for an assessment to be completed by the state Sexual Offenders Assessment Board to determine whether Martin should be classified as a sexually violent predator, District Attorney Marjorie Fox said.

A praecipe has been filed to schedule the hearing, and the district attorney's office is awaiting a court order confirming the hearing date, she said.

Martin raped and strangled Bechen on June 13, 2006, when she came to the Dunkard Township horse farm where he worked.

The jury deliberated about six hours before finding Martin guilty of first-degree murder, aggravated assault, rape of a child, aggravated indecent assault of a child, statutory sexual assault, indecent assault, abuse of a corpse and four counts of tampering with evidence.

It took less than an hour for jurors to decide Martin should be put to death for the crime.

 
July 25th, 2008 - Observer Reporter
Megan's Law hearing set for Aug. 21


A hearing to determine whether Jeffrey Robert Martin, the Fayette County man convicted of raping and killing a 12-year-old girl two years ago, is a sexually violent predator under Megan's Law, will be held at 10 a.m. Aug. 21 before Greene County President Judge H. Terry Grimes.
Following the hearing, it is expected Grimes will impose sentence.

In May, a jury found Martin, 50, of New Geneva guilty of all charges, including first-degree murder, rape and aggravated indecent assault. The panel also recommended that Martin be put to death for his crimes.

He raped and strangled Gabrielle Bechen on June 13, 2006, when she visited the Dunkard Township horse farm where Martin worked. He also buried her body and all-terrain vehicle, hampering a massive search to find the missing girl.

The formal sentencing hearing had been scheduled for Thursday.
 
August 16th, 2008 - Observer Reporter
Sentencing for Martin postponed again


WAYNESBURG - The sentencing and Megan's Law hearing of the Fayette County man convicted of raping and murdering a 12-year-old Greensboro girl has been continued again.
Jeffrey Robert Martin, 50, of New Geneva, was scheduled to be in court Aug. 21, but the hearing has been rescheduled for 9:30 a.m. Sept. 17 in courtroom 2 of the Greene County Courthouse. This is the second time that Martin's hearing has been postponed.

Martin raped and strangled Gabrielle Bechen on June 13, 2006, when the girl visited the Dunkard Township horse farm where he worked.

In May, following a six-day trial, Martin was found guilty on all counts, including first-degree murder, rape and aggravated indecent assault. A day later, the jury decided Martin should be put to death for the crime.

Martin used a backhoe to dig a grave, where he placed the girl's body. He also hid her all-terrain vehicle and belongings elsewhere on the farm.

Searchers looked for the girl for five days before two volunteers found the girl's ATV buried in manure. That discovery led to Martin's arrest and his eventual confession to the killing.

Martin took the stand during his trial to recant that confession. He claimed another man was responsible for the girl's death.

The jury deliberated about six hours before finding Martin guilty of first-degree murder, aggravated assault, rape of a child, aggravated indecent assault of a child, statutory sexual assault, indecent assault, abuse of a corpse and four counts of tampering with evidence.

It took less than an hour for jurors to recommend the death penalty for Martin.
 
September 17th, 2008 - Observer Reporter

Murderer, rapist to be sentenced today

Observer-Reporter
WAYNESBURG - Jeffrey Robert Martin, the convicted rapist and murderer of a 12-year-old Greensboro girl, will be sentenced today in Greene County Court.

President Judge H. Terry Grimes is expected to sentence the 51-year-old Fayette County man to death, but before he does, he will hold a hearing to determine whether Martin is a sexually violent sexual predator under Megan's Law.

Martin initially was scheduled for sentencing July 23, but that hearing was postponed to Aug. 21 and was again rescheduled to today.

In May, following a six-day trial, Martin was convicted of raping and strangling Gabrielle Bechen on June 13, 2006, when the girl visited the Dunkard Township horse farm where he worked.
The jury returned guilty verdicts on first-degree murder, rape and aggravated indecent assault. A day later, it decided Martin should be put to death for the crime.

Martin used a backhoe to dig a grave, where he placed the girl's body.

He also hid her all-terrain vehicle and belongings elsewhere on the farm.

Searchers looked for the girl for five days before two volunteers found the girl's ATV buried in manure. That discovery led to Martin's arrest and his eventual confession to the killing.

Martin took the stand during his trial to recant that confession. He claimed another man was responsible for the girl's death.

The jury deliberated about six hours before finding Martin guilty of first-degree murder, aggravated assault, rape of a child, aggravated indecent assault of a child, statutory sexual assault, indecent assault, abuse of a corpse and four counts of tampering with evidence.

It took less than an hour for jurors to recommend the death penalty for Martin.

Murderer sentenced to death

WAYNESBURG - Jeffrey Robert Martin, the convicted rapist and murderer of a 12-year-old Greensboro girl, was sentenced to death today in Greene County Court.
It is the first death sentence handed down in the county in more than a century.

President Judge H. Terry Grimes sentenced the 51-year-old Fayette County man following a hearing that determined Martin is a sexually violent sexual predator under Megan's Law.

The judge also sentenced Martin to 23 to 46 years in prison on a variety of other charges.

In May, following a six-day trial, Martin was convicted of raping and strangling Gabrielle Bechen on June 13, 2006, when the girl visited the Dunkard Township horse farm where he worked.
The jury returned guilty verdicts on first-degree murder, rape and aggravated indecent assault. A day later, it decided Martin should be put to death for the crime.

Read more in tomorrow's Observer-Reporter.

 
September 18th, 2008 - Observer Reporter

Martin sentenced to die

By Cara Host, Staff writer
chost@observer-reporter.com

WAYNESBURG - Jeffrey Robert Martin has been condemned to die for the rape and murder of a 12-year-old girl from Greensboro.

At a sentencing hearing Wednesday, President Judge H. Terry Grimes followed a jury's recommendation and sentenced Martin, 51, of New Geneva, to death. Martin will go to State Correctional Institution at Pittsburgh to be processed into the state prison system.

Grimes also determined that Martin is a sexually violent predator after an accompanying Megan's Law hearing, in which Martin's daughter testified that her father molested her when she was 6.

Martin already seemed to be clamoring to exercise his rights through the appeals process. After the sentencing hearing, he asked Grimes if the judge could expedite the process by denying his appeal immediately. Grimes explained that the appeal will be automatic, since the state Supreme Court examines all cases involving the death penalty.

"He certainly intends to pursue his appeal," Martin's attorney, Public Defender Harry Cancelmi, told reporters after the hearing. "I believe he wants another court to review (the case)."

Martin raped and strangled Gabrielle Miranda Bechen on June 13, 2006, when she left her house to visit a nearby horse farm where Martin worked as a farmhand. He then buried her body and hid her all-terrain vehicle from the hundreds of searchers who combed the woods of Dunkard Township for five days, looking for the girl.

In May, after a six-day trial, a jury convicted Martin of all charges, and the panel recommended that he be put to death for murder.

Grimes had to follow the jury's recommendation, but he also sentenced Martin to 23 to 46 years in prison for the crimes other than first-degree murder. In addition to first-degree murder, Martin was convicted of aggravated assault, rape of a child, aggravated indecent assault of a child, statutory sexual assault, indecent assault, abuse of a corpse and four counts of tampering with evidence.

"Given the heinous and despicable nature of these crimes, the sentence will be at the higher end of the standard range," Grimes said, referring to the state's sentencing guidelines for criminal offenses.

"We're very pleased to have it completed. I can't say we're happy to start the appeals process, but the finality of it now is wonderful," said First Assistant District Attorney Linda Chambers. She credited the police officers and others involved with the case, particularly Trooper Thomas Schuster and Cpl. William Barnhart of the state police.

During the Megan's Law hearing, Martin's daughter, Jennifer Martin, 25, of Greensburg, testified that her father sexually molested her when she was 6. Jeffrey Martin was charged with indecent assault in the 1989 or 1990 incident, but the case was dropped because Jennifer Martin said she couldn't testify at the trial.

Cancelmi noted that Jennifer Martin did not have difficulty talking about the incident in front of television news cameras several months ago, and he asked why she couldn't testify about it 18 years ago.

"I was six," the young woman replied. "He destroyed my life."

Cancelmi also noted that Jeffrey Martin reunited with his daughter several years ago and took her on shopping trips. At one point, Jennifer Martin confronted him about the molestation, and he denied it.

Jeffrey Martin also denied it in court Wednesday. He said that the 6-year-old told the court in 1990 that her mother came up with the molestation allegation to get back at him during their divorce.

Herbert Hays, an assessor for the sexual offenders assessment board, used the allegation, other offenses in Martin's criminal history and several mental health evaluations to recommend that he be considered a sexually violent predator.

He was accused of molesting two children in a gas station bathroom in 1975, when he was about 17. Martin also has been charged several times with harassment by communication for making obscene phone calls to women.

The sexually violent predator designation requires Martin to register his whereabouts with authorities for the rest of his life. However, Martin probably never will be a free man again, so he most likely will never have to comply with that requirement.

Both Cancelmi and Grimes noted the irony of having the Megan's Law hearing, given the penalties that will be imposed for murder and other offenses, but it is required under the law.

Death sentence first in Greene since days of hangings


By Cara Host, Staff writer
chost@observer-reporter.com

WAYNESBURG - The last time someone from Greene County was sentenced to death, the county courthouse still had gallows where the offenders were hanged.

Jeffrey Robert Martin on Wednesday became the first person to receive a death sentence from Greene County Court in 114 years.

Martin raped and strangled 12-year-old Gabrielle Miranda Bechen of Greensboro two years ago. A jury convicted him and recommended he die for his crimes after a trial in May, and on Wednesday, President Judge H. Terry Grimes formally sentenced Martin to death.

The county only imposed such a punishment on three other men in its history, and all were executed in the late 1800s, according to G. Wayne Smith's "The History of Greene County Pennsylvania."

Two men from Cumberland Township, George W. Clark and his brother-in-law Zacharias Taylor, were executed for the same murder in 1890. The men were convicted of robbing and shooting William McCausland, a livestock trader from Pittsburgh, in 1887. Both men proclaimed their innocence even as they were led to the gallows.

John Eisiminger of Waynesburg was the last person to be sentenced to death in Greene County. He robbed and shot Samuel McCoy, a traveling peddler, in West Waynesburg in 1894, and he was convicted and sentenced to die several months later. He was hanged at the courthouse in 1895.

The state prison system took over all executions in 1915, but until Martin, Greene County sent no one to the state's death row, according to a search through several decades of newspaper archives.

The county saw several murders over the years, and some were quite gruesome, but none apparently warranted a death sentence.

In 1946, a returning veteran of World War II, William Franklin Headlee, committed what was called the most brutal crime in the county's history, but he ended up with a 10-to-25-year prison sentence.

Headlee broke into an elderly woman's apartment in Waynesburg and attacked the woman in her sleep. Headlee stabbed the woman, Harriett Montgomery Walker, at least 20 times in the throat and then raped her either just before or just after she died.

The next morning, the woman's sister found Walker dead, with Headlee sound asleep beside her corpse. Headlee later claimed he was too drunk to remember the incident, so jurors convicted him of second-degree murder.

Judge John I. Hook said in court that he would have sentenced Donald Grover Molleanaux to death for another 1946 murder, if "it were not for his extreme youth," according to a Waynesburg Republican account.

He was a 14-year-old farm boy when he stabbed his employer, Katherine Inghram Fletcher, at her farm near Graysville. He later told police he killed her just for the thrill.

He pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, and Hook sentenced him to life in prison.

 
September 22nd, 2008 - KDKA Channel 2 News

Daughter Of Man Convicted In Murder Speaks Out

http://kdka.com/local/Jeffrey.Jennifer.Martin.2.823247.html

Reporting
Harold Hayes WAYNESBURG (KDKA) ― Last week, a farmhand was sentenced to the death penalty for the rape and murder of a 12-year-old Greene County girl.

Today, the daughter of farmhand Jeffery Martin, Jennifer Martin, reacted to own her father's conviction with relief.

"When they made it final, I think I got a little bit of closure in that he'll never get out," said Martin. "He can't hurt anybody else."

Jeffery Martin, 51, was convicted by a jury in May for the June 2006 killing of Gabrielle Bechen on a horse farm in Greene County.

Bechen disappeared while riding her all-terrain vehicle at a Greensboro horse farm where Martin worked. Her body was found five days later buried on the farm.

But Martin's sentencing hearing last week was not first time his daughter says she was asked to take stand.

She says she was asked to detail allegation of his abuse when she was just 6-years-old. But she added that she couldn't testify then because he stared her down and frightened her. But this time she overcame that fear.

"I may not have been able to get on that stand when I was six, but I was going to do something this time, and I did."

Martin has been assigned to SCI Pittsburgh, the jail formally known as Western Penitentiary, while the Pennsylvania Supreme Court reviews his death sentence.

 
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