A man beat and fatally stabbed a prostitute in her City Heights apartment, then dumped her body in a water-filled bathtub, a prosecutor alleged Monday.
Deputy District Attorney Brian Erickson urged a jury to convict Frank Dwayne Shaw, 37, of first-degree murder in the death of Maureen Skeffington, 48, a known prostitute who worked under the name “Tabby.”
”All of the evidence in this case points to him,” the prosecutor said of the defendant.
Skeffington, who was addicted to cocaine, was killed sometime between 10 p.m. and midnight on Aug. 26, 2012, Erickson said in his opening statement. Skeffington’s nose was broken and she had been stabbed twice in the neck, he said.
At the opening of the murder trial, the prosecutor said police went to the victim’s apartment on Cherokee Avenue two days later, after neighbors and friends said they hadn’t seen her in a couple of days.
Based on blood evidence in her room, police think Skeffington was killed on her bed, then dumped in the bathtub, Erickson said.
A woman living in an adjacent garage heard a man yelling and also heard thumping noises the night the victim died. The witness said she thought the noises were two people having sex, according to Erickson.
The prosecutor said Shaw’s DNA was found on the bed, on a kitchen cabinet and on a bathtub handle.
According to court testimony, Shaw and Skeffington were in communication by phone the night of Aug. 26, because Shaw wanted to pay for sex with her. He had met the victim at a youth football game,
Shaw proposed paying for with drugs, but Skeffington insisted that he pay cash, police said.
Two months after the murder, Shaw told police that he was in an alley next to Skeffington’s apartment that night, but got nervous and left after five minutes because he had methamphetamine on him and didn’t want to get in trouble, according to the prosecutor.
Shaw denied having sex with the victim and denied going into her apartment that night, the prosecutor said.
Defense attorney Kara Oien said Skeffington’s killing was brutal.
“It was personal. It wasn’t someone who barely knew her. It wasn’t Frank Shaw,” Oien said.
The attorney said Shaw’s DNA was in Skeffington’s apartment because he had used her services in the past. Other men’s DNA was found in the apartment, and Shaw was excluded in at least 40 DNA tests, the defense attorney said.
She also said Shaw had no motive to kill Skeffington.
Shaw, who has previous convictions for armed robbery, faces 82 years to life in prison if convicted.
– City News Service