Trial Begins for Va. Man Accused of 1991 Murder

August 11, 2010

Jury selection has begun in the sexual assault and murder of a camp counselor in eastern Pennsylvania almost two decades ago.

Wayne County prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against 46-year-old Jeffrey Plishka of Onley, Virginia in the 1991 murder of 24-year-old Laura Ronning near a waterfall in the Pocono Mountains.

Ronning, of St. Petersburg, Florida, was working at Camp Cayuga near Honesdale when she disappeared while on a hike. Police say she was sexually assaulted and then shot in the head.

Plishka, who once lived in the area, was charged with first-, second- and third-degree murder and attempted rape after DNA tests indicated that blood on a gun taken from his home could have come from the victim. His attorney has argued that the DNA could have come from many other people.

©2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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