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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2010

    John Charles Eichinger - Pennsylvania Death Row

    Jennifer Still

    Heather Greaves

    Lisa Greaves

    Avery Johnson

    Summary of Offense:

    On March 25, 2005, John Eichinger killed three women and one woman’s daughter in their apartments. He stabbed all of his victims to death. The prosecution attributed the deaths to Eichinger’s rage after they romantically rejected him. During the trial, Eichinger claimed that he only confessed to the murders because the detective who came to interview him at his work had a gun. Eichinger claimed that his company’s employee manual, it said that employees should give anyone who is brandishing a gun what they want. Since the detective wanted a confession, that is what Eichinger gave him. Later, during the penalty phase, Eichinger admitted to the crimes in an attempt to show remorse and win favor with the jury.

    The victims were Heather Greaves, Lisa Greaves, Avery Johnson and Jennifer Still.

    Eichinger was sentenced to death in Montgomery County on December 12, 2005.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    January 17, 2008

    COURTHOUSE - John C. Eichinger may die if convicted of the stabbing deaths of two women who reportedly spurned his advances and two "incidental" witnesses - a sister and a three-year-old child - to one of those slayings.
    Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce L. Castor Jr. Tuesday announced he would seek the death penalty for Eichinger, a 33-year-old Somers Point, N.J., man who is charged with four murders in the county.
    These killings include the three Good Friday murders of Heather Greaves, 27, her sister Lisa Greaves, 23, and Heather's 3-year-old daughter, Avery Johnson, all of whom lived at the Greaves' family residence in the 500 block of Kingwood Road, King of Prussia.
    Eichinger, a supermarket employee who engaged in role-playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons, also is charged with the July 6, 1999, stabbing death of Jennifer Still, 20, of Bridgeport.
    That crime went unsolved until authorities, investigating the triple murder, noticed similarities between the wounds of those three victims and Still's wounds.
    Castor described the stabbing deaths as "particularly brutal and grotesque killings."
    "Knife murders are generally much more personal because they require a person to get right up close to the victim and multiple stabbings are very bloody and messy, leaving grotesque crime scenes," said Castor.
    He referred to Eichinger as a serial killer, explaining "every time you have this jilted-lover situation he is likely to commit a crime and that is the classic pattern for a serial killer." The killing of the young child and Lisa Greaves were "incidental" to the murder of the main victim, who was Heather Greaves, said Castor.
    If Eichinger had not been apprehended following the triple stabbings, it is likely he would have killed again the next time his romantic overtures were spurned, according to Castor.
    Among the aggravating factors that warrant the death penalty, are the multiple killings, the killing of a child and the earlier Still murder Castor said.
    Castor's comments came during and after Eichinger's formal arraignment on the charges against him.
    Eichinger, sitting with his hands clasped in front of him and his eyes downcast, did not speak nor did he enter any plea.
    "My client stands mute at this time," said defense attorney William McElroy.
    Judge William R. Carpenter subsequently entered a not-guilty plea in Eichinger's behalf to keep the legal process moving forward.
    McElroy, stating his client did not have to enter a plea, declined further comment on that or Castor's intention to seek the death penalty.
    Castor speculated that McElroy might be exploring options concerning Eichinger's mental health.
    The father of the two Greaves sisters discovered the bodies of his two daughters and his granddaughter on March 25 when he returned from work at about 4:30 p.m.
    One of the neighbors told authorities that she saw Eichinger, whom she knew as a co-worker of Heather Greaves at a nearby Acme supermarket, leave the house earlier in the day wearing what appeared to be a blood-stained shirt and holding a rag over his hand.
    Questioned that night about the killings, Eichinger initially said he had had no contact with Greaves. However, according to the criminal complaint, he later admitted to the triple killings, explaining he had wanted to have a romantic relationship with Heather Greaves but that she was becoming serious with a new boyfriend, according to the criminal complaint.
    Investigators, prompted by the similarities in the distinctive and unusual stab wounds and location of those wounds, also asked him about the Still murder. Eichinger then confessed to that slaying, once again explaining that he had wanted a romantic relationship with Still and became angry when she spurned him for another man.
    No trial date has been scheduled. Eichinger will remain in the county prison without bail until his trial.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    July 7, 2009

    Eichinger confronted by loved ones of victims

    Describing serial killer John Eichinger as an emissary of Satan and a monstrous baby-killer, the families of three women and the little girl Eichinger brutally murdered dramatically confronted the killer before he was sentenced to death on Monday.

    Describing serial killer John Eichinger as an emissary of Satan and a monstrous baby-killer, the families of three women and the little girl Eichinger brutally murdered dramatically confronted the killer before he was sentenced to death on Monday.
    "In my assessment of this horrendous tragedy perpetrated by John Charles Eichinger, there is no justice that can satisfy me short of his termination and no restoration that can replace what was lost," said George Greaves, whose daughters, Lisa and Heather, and granddaughter, Avery Johnson, were stabbed to death by Eichinger on Good Friday.
    Unfortunately, Greaves said, Eichinger is more likely to remain behind bars for many years before the death sentence is actually carried out.
    "However, I do look forward to the justice promised by the Lord Almighty where the wicked and evil emissaries of Satan such as John Charles Eichinger will receive payment for their acts with eternal, unrelenting torment in hell," Greaves added.
    Wendy Lavin, whose 20-year-old daughter, Jennifer Louise Still, was stabbed to death by Eichinger, in 1999, said Eichinger should never be allowed to live in society again.
    "He deserves the death penalty. No amount of time spent in prison could ever make up for the agony and suffering he caused Jennifer. He is a violent man who has no regard for life and no respect for the law," said Lavin, of Mont Clare, the co-founder of the Montgomery County Chapter of Parents of Murdered Children.
    Montgomery County Judge William R. Carpenter imposed three consecutive death sentences and a life prison sentence on Eichinger for the four killings. The judge also sentenced Eichinger to a consecutive, maximum possible sentence of eight to 16 years in prison on charges of possessing an instrument of crime and lying to authorities. The consecutive jail time will make it more difficult for a future governor to ever commute Eichinger's death sentences.
    "You took the lives of four innocent persons for no reason. You are simply stated, an evil person," Carpenter told Eichinger, who showed no reaction as he was led from the courtroom in handcuffs by sheriff's deputies, headed to death row.
    Eichinger, a 33-year-old former supermarket employee from Somers Point, N.J., did not address the judge or the families of the murdered women when offered the chance to speak before his punishment was imposed.
    In November, Judge Carpenter convicted Eichinger of four first-degree murder charges in connection with the July 6, 1999, deadly knife attack of Still in her Bridgeport apartment and the March 25, 2005, stabbing deaths of 27-year-old Heather Greaves, her 23-year-old sister, Lisa Greaves, and Heather's 3-year-old daughter, Avery Johnson, at the Greaves family residence on Kingwood Road in King of Prussia.
    A jury then had to determine if Eichinger should receive life imprisonment or death for the Greaves killings. Prosecutors used Still's murder to support seeking the death penalty against Eichinger for each of the Greaves-Johnson slayings. The jury returned with three verdicts of death by lethal injection against Eichinger.
    Prosecutors claimed Eichinger killed Still when she spurned his romantic overtures. Six years later, Eichinger killed Heather Greaves because he wanted a relationship with her when she was entering into a romantic relationship with another man, prosecutors said.
    Lisa Greaves and Avery Johnson, who were at the Greaves home when Eichinger confronted Heather, were murdered because Eichinger believed they could have identified him, prosecutors theorized.
    "We discovered after the case that Eichinger is the most prolific serial killer in the county's history. Judge Carpenter certainly told him what we do to criminals like that here," said District Attorney Bruce L. Castor Jr., who sought the death penalty against Eichinger. "The sentence was just."
    Assistant District Attorney Carolyn Flannery, who assisted Castor with the prosecution, asked the judge to impose the maximum possible sentence against Eichinger because "he is so purely evil that there is no doubt he deserves to die" and to serve justice to the dead and their families.
    "It's important to show how seriously we take these crimes, that they are so heinous, so brutal," said Flannery, referring to the need for the maximum sentence.
    Eichinger, who was represented by defense lawyer William McElroy, stared blankly and did not react when relatives of the dead women angrily lashed out at him in court, forcing him to look at photographs of the three women and Avery during happier times.
    "How could you kill little Avery, John?" Meredith Gardner Moffatt, a friend to the Greaves sisters, confronted Eichinger. "Was it because she could speak your name? You are a baby-killer and by anyone's definition, a baby-killer is the lowest of the low. In hell, John, there is no mercy from God forever!"
    Several friends of the victims, weeping uncontrollably, called Eichinger "a monster." Friends described Lisa as "a feisty princess" and a "strong-minded individual with a big heart" who was studying to be a registered nurse. Heather, friends testified, "always had a smile and a pleasant demeanor and a great sense of humor."
    George Greaves, whose nightmare began when he returned to his Kingwood Road home after work and found the blood-covered bodies of his two daughters and granddaughter, testified he will miss "those little hugs of love" he received daily from Avery.
    Greaves said he agonizes about the day when he will have to explain to Avery's half-sister, 6-year-old Melody, what happened to Heather and Avery.
    "As she gets older the day yet awaits when I will have to reveal to her the true horrific details of the deaths of her mother, her aunt and her sister," said Greaves, his voice quivering with emotion. "It will be another day of many tears for both of us."
    Saying she agonized for six years before finding out who murdered her only child, Lavin described Jennifer as a "loving, caring, kind and considerate person" who loved musicals and poetry.
    "My daughter was a very bright, independent young woman. We will never know what she could have made of her life. She was robbed of that opportunity, her life cut cruelly short," Lavin told the judge.

  4. #4
    Heidi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Montco serial killer appeals death sentence

    Convicted killer John Charles Eichinger, who had expressed a desire to die in the weeks leading up to his 2005 trial, has apparently changed his mind and is appealing his three death sentences for the murders of three women and a 3-year-old girl.

    Eichinger’s appeal argues that he had ineffective trial counsel and is allegedly brain damaged, which should have been introduced into evidence. The defendant, now 38, is seeking either a new trial or new penalty phase in his case.

    On Tuesday before Judge William R. Carpenter, Assistant Federal Defender Hunter Labovitz peppered defense attorney William R. McElroy with questions in an effort to expose any defense shortcomings in the murder case.

    Eichinger was found guilty of stabbing to death 20-year-old Bridgeport resident Jennifer Still in 1999 and then, on Good Friday in 2005, he fatally stabbed Lisa Greaves, 23; Heather Greaves, 27; and her 3-year-old daughter, Avery Johnson, all of whom lived in Upper Merion.

    Then-District Attorney Bruce L. Castor Jr. prosecuted the case with Assistant District Attorney Carolyn Flannery.

    Eichinger was sentenced to death by lethal injection in 2006 for murdering the Greaves sisters and the child and got a life-sentence for Still’s death.

    Labovitz quizzed McElroy on numerous aspects of his defense — if he took notes when interviewing the defendant, why he waited six months to hire co-counsel, and if he considered consulting an expert in false confessions.

    McElroy answered “no” to note taking and putting on a false confession expert, but he brought defense lawyer Paul Bauer into the case to try to spare Eichinger’s life.

    “He wanted to die,” the defense lawyer testified. “I was having trouble with Mr. Eichinger; I was trying to save his life.”

    McElroy was hired at the end of March 2005 to defend Eichinger, a former Acme employee in King of Prussia. Bauer, who McElroy knew and trusted, was brought on in October of that year.

    “From a common sense point of view, I thought it wouldn’t hurt to have another voice in the room,” he said.

    McElroy testified he explored whether his client’s prior illness, Guillain-Barré Syndrome, was a viable defense. Symptoms of the condition include tingling in fingers and toes, and weakness in the arms and legs. Any possibility of this defense was significantly undermined when Montgomery County Detectives discover Eichinger’s journal that McElroy described as “a game changer” for the case.

    Eichinger’s admission of the killings was bolstered by the journal that his brother gave to authorities and which detailed a terrifying account of the stabbings of the sisters and the young girl after being spurned by Heather Greaves.

    Armed with the same hunting knife he used to kill Still nearly five years earlier, Eichinger went to Greaves’ father’s house on Kingwood Road on March 25, 2005, intending to kill Heather unless she agreed to end the relationship with her new boyfriend, according to court papers.

    When she refused, he began stabbing her in the kitchen. Seeing this, Heather Greaves' 3-year-old daughter cried out, “John killed Mommy.”

    When the gravely wounded mother told Eichinger Avery knew how to call 911, the killer realized that the 3-year-old was a potential witness against him. Those “three little sentences,” he wrote, caused him to kill the girl, too.

    He slashed Avery in the neck as she took off down the hall toward her Aunt Lisa, who was in the bathroom, crying out again that “John killed Mommy,” according to the journal. A moment later, the child collapsed in the hallway.

    Eichinger then attacked Lisa Greaves in the bathroom, stabbing her repeatedly.

    As he came back down the hallway, Eichinger wrote that he saw the little girl’s fingers “tapping in blood,” and he then stabbed the child in the back, punching the knife so forcefully through her body that the tip came through her chest.

    He then returned to the kitchen to finish killing Heather, whose last words were, “Why, why?”

    Testimony continues on today at 2:30 p.m. in Courtoom C.

  5. #5
    Heidi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Convicted murderer John Charles Eichinger has lost his appeal for a new trial

    Eichinger was convicted in 2005 of the stabbing deaths of three women and a child in slayings five years apart and received three death sentences. Since 2010, the defendant sought a new trial or a new penalty phase in his case.

    On April 4, Montgomery County Judge William R. Carpenter denied the post conviction petition appeal that argued Eichinger was brain damaged and that his defense counsel were ineffective.
    Eichinger fatally stabbed Jennifer Still in her Bridgeport apartment in 1999. On Good Friday in 2005, he stabbed to death 27-year-old Heather Greaves, her 23-year-old sister Lisa Greaves and Heather’s 3-year-old daughter Avery Johnson in the Greaves family home in Upper Merion.
    All four homicides were part of a stipulated bench trial on Oct. 18, 2005, where the defendant was found guilty. A separate penalty phase followed a month later, and a jury sentenced Eichinger to three death penalties.

    Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney Adrienne Jappe and Deputy Assistant DA Robert Falin handled the lengthy appeal that consisted of 23 days of testimony. The attorneys worked on the case for nearly two years.

    Attorneys Hunter Labovitz and Maria Pulzetti from the Federal Defenders Office argued in county court that defense lawyers William McElroy and Paul Bauer III had been ineffective in failing to pursue additional mitigation evidence in Eichinger’s case, and claimed the defendant suffered a “diminished (mental) capacity.”

    “It was a tremendous amount of court time, a tremendous amount of work responding to last minute motions filed by the federal defenders,” Jappe said. “Even after the case closed, (the defense) filed another motion to reopen the case to call yet another expert.”
    However, the judge denied that defense final motion.
    Jappe said there was overwhelming evidence of Eichinger’s guilt in the murders, including a hand-written journal, including letters to an aunt, he wrote while in prison detailing the gruesome stabbings that make a case against any brain injury.

    “He wrote essentially a journal, a diary, of what he did, why he did it, how he committed the crimes, the planning, the deliberation, the aftermath, how he wanted to conceal it,” she said.
    During the appeal hearings, the defense and DA’s called several mental health experts.
    On April 5, the judge said Jappe and Falin’s expert witnesses “by far” provided the most “reliable, convincing, logical and accurate opinions,” according to court papers.

    Carpenter found McElroy and Bauer provided the defendant effective legal representation during the guilt and penalty phases.

    By contrast, the defendant, who had been an Eagle Scout, offered testimony that was “simply not credible, not worthy of belief, and quite frankly, betrayed his training and background as a former Eagle Scout,” the judge said.

    At the time of the trial, Eichinger had “wanted to die,” and Bauer was appointed because McElroy was having difficulty convincing the defendant otherwise.
    The state Superior Court and state Supreme Court rejected Eichinger’s appeal that contended that Carpenter erred in his sentencing instructions to the jury that resulted in the three death sentences.

    In 2007, the The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal to overturn the death sentences. Eichinger may appeal the April court ruling to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
    A uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

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