Pennsylvania woman stabbed 45 times in home attack

Also killed were the victim's father, grandfather and neighbor who ran to their house after hearing screams

Published August 31, 2010 4:44PM (EDT)

A Pennsylvania coroner says a woman suffered 45 knife wounds in an attack that also killed her father, grandfather and a neighbor who ran to their home after hearing screams.

Northampton County Coroner Zachary Lysek says 39-year-old Denise Merhi tried to defend herself as she was fatally stabbed June 26 inside her home.

Lysek testified Tuesday at the preliminary hearing for Merhi's former boyfriend, 37-year-old convicted murder Michael Eric Ballard. He is charged with stabbing Merhi, her 62-year-old father, 87-year-old grandfather and a neighbor.

Lysek says all four victims were stabbed multiple times. Merhi's grandfather was found dead in his wheelchair.

At the time of the killings, Ballard was on parole for a 1991 murder in Allentown and was living in a halfway house there.


Information from: The Morning Call,

By Associated Press

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