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Death penalty unlikely in screwdriver stabbing

Emil Whitis • Jul 20, 2011 at 3:44 PM

The man accused of using a screwdriver to kill his estranged wife won't face the death penalty unless more evidence surfaces, Erie County prosecutor Kevin Baxter said.

An Erie County grand jury last week indicted Jeremy P. Gallant, 26, on charges of aggravated murder and grand theft of a motor vehicle.

Gallant is accused of repeatedly stabbing his wife, Maria Vera, 22, in the head and body during an argument June 1 at his mother's Berlin Township home.

"A lot of these murders are heinous crimes, but there are only a few narrowly defined circumstances when the death penalty can be brought forth," Baxter said. "The act has to go beyond prior calculation."

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