By Tony Hanson
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — According to a statement read in court, the alleged killer of a Children’s Hospital pediatrician says she pleaded for her life as he strangled her inside her Center City home in January.READ MORE: EXCLUSIVE: Body Of Missing 26-Year-Old Casey Johnston Recovered, Believed To Have Been Killed In Crash, Authorities Say
The 37-year-old defendant, an exterminator at the victim’s home on a service call, has been ordered held for trial. (See Related Story)
Homicide detective Edward Tolliver has testified Jason Smith admitted choking Melissa Ketunuti, a Children’s Hospital pediatrian, and she was begging for her life.READ MORE: Man Cleaning Gun, Shoots And Kills 22-Year-Old Girlfriend In Bustleton, Philadelphia Police Say
The statement said that Ketunuti said “Please stop, please stop, I’m sorry. I’ll do whatever you want.”
“He indicated he had an argument with her about how the exterminating was being done, and he strangled her to death and then tied her up and lit her on fire to destroy the evidence,” Prosecutor Jennifer Selber said.
Ketunuti’s dog walker discovered the victim, still on fire. Selber says the evidence shows she was dead before set on fire.MORE NEWS: Colts' Carson Wentz Choosing Rest, Rehab For Foot Injury, Remains Out Indefinitely
The defense declined comment on the details of the case after the hearing.