Dismemberment Case Brings Death Penalty William Gribble Is To Die For The Storeowner's "Savage" Killing. Today, His Partner Is Sentenced.

Posted: July 01, 1993

Kelley O'Donnell and William Gribble each claimed to have acted alone in the bludgeoning and dismemberment of a West Kensington pizza-parlor owner in November.

Yesterday, Common Pleas Court Judge Paul Ribner convicted both of first- degree murder in the slaying of Eleftherios Eleftheriou, 50.

Ribner sentenced Gribble, 28, to death. He postponed until today a penalty hearing for O'Donnell, 25, so prison doctors could determine if the sedatives and other medications they have prescribed for her interfere with her ability to participate in court.

Ribner, in imposing the death penalty for Gribble, said the "savage" and ''horrible" nature of the killing outweighed the mitigating factors of Gribble's lack of prior crimes and his drug addiction.

On the witness stand, Gribble begged for his life.

He said he was "higher than you can imagine" the day he killed the pizza shop owner. Gribble said he remembered hitting the owner with a hammer, "but not cutting him up."

Gribble had told investigators that he acted alone. He said he arrived home to an apartment where he and O'Donnell were staying in Port Richmond about 2 a.m. Nov. 12 and found the pizza-parlor owner romancing O'Donnell and ''freaked."

O'Donnell also claimed to have acted alone. She told police she had known the shop owner, a Greek immigrant, for about six months. About 11 p.m. on the night of the killing, she said, she went to his pizza shop and asked him to lend her $10. She said he asked what she was doing later, and she agreed to meet him at the apartment.

O'Donnell said she beat Eleftheriou with a hammer, then took him to the basement and "sawed him up with a hacksaw."

O'Donnell said Gribble drove her when she dumped the body parts at two spots along Delaware Avenue. Gribble later set fire to the pizza owner's car, she told police.

Both defendants chose a nonjury trial. They were convicted of murder, abuse of a corpse, robbery and other charges.

An assistant medical examiner testified that Eleftheriou died from "20-odd blows to the skull." His head, arms and upper torso were found in trash bags along Delaware Avenue. His legs and lower body were retrieved from a burning car.

Eleftheriou's left eye and eyelid and his penis were found in a pencil case belonging to O'Donnell. Edwin Lieberman, a forensic pathologist, testified that Eleftheriou had been dismembered while he was still alive.

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