By Associated Press - Wednesday, May 27, 2015

DOYLESTOWN, Pa. (AP) - Prosecutors told jurors Wednesday that a suburban Philadelphia man killed a pregnant woman and her 4-year-old daughter because he wanted the woman’s drug business.

The allegation came during opening statements in the Bucks County trial of 22-year-old Marcel Johnson, The Philadelphia Inquirer ( ) reported.

Authorities allege that Johnson stabbed Ebony Talley, 22, and R’Mani Rankins in November 2013 and then set fire to the Levittown apartment to destroy evidence.

Mike Weintraub, chief of prosecution for the district attorney’s office, said Johnson, who was homeless, sold heroin with Talley and sometimes stayed at the apartment, but wanted her drug business.

“The theme of this case is the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots,’” Weintraub said.

He said the child was a witness to the slaying of her mother, and “that sealed her fate and death.”

Prosecutors, who have said they plan to seek the death penalty if Johnson is convicted of first-degree murder, say Talley’s DNA was found under Johnson’s fingernails.

Defense attorney Craig Penglase, however, argued that his client’s DNA wasn’t found at the crime scene and bloody handprints didn’t yield a match of his fingerprints. Furthermore, Penglase said, someone else’s DNA was found on the body of the adult victim.

“Somebody else’s DNA is in Ebony’s fist,” he told the jury. “You can’t overlook that.


Information from: The Philadelphia Inquirer,

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