Man convicted of first-degree murder in girlfriend’s death

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WILKES-BARRE, Pa. (AP) — A man has been convicted of first-degree murder in the death of his girlfriend, whose body was found in his sport-utility vehicle in northeastern Pennsylvania three years ago.

Jurors in Luzerne County who heard three days of testimony took only about a half-hour Friday to convict 42-year-old Dana Ganjeh in the August 2018 death of 56-year-old Linda Frick. He now faces a mandatory life term without possibility of parole.

Prosecutors characterized Ganjeh as a jealous and abusive boyfriend who brutally killed Frick, whose body was found covered with a blanket and towels in the SUV behind his Kingston apartment. The victim had broken ribs, blood-filled lungs and bleeding in the brain, prosecutors said.

Authorities alleged that the defendant wanted to silence Frick because she had reported domestic violence on his part a few months earlier. “Linda finally decided to pursue the charges,” Deputy Assistant District Attorney Thomas Hogans said. “Now she’s dead.”

But defense attorneys Demetrius Fannick and Katelyn Spellman argued that Ganjeh defended himself when Frick pulled a pocketknife during an alcohol-fueled argument at her brother’s home in Dreher Township, Wayne County. They argued for an acquittal or at most a third-degree murder conviction.

“This was not a planned, premeditated event,” Fannick said. “It was a heat-of-passion event.”

Fannick said after the verdict that he was disappointed but he respected the jury’s verdict, adding “Mr. Ganjeh will obviously be appealing.”

Hogans said he was happy with a verdict he called “right and just.”

“There’s finally justice for Linda Frick and her family,” he said.

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