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

By Associated Press

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,

Associated Press

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