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MAN FATALLY STABBED WAS IN SLEEPING ATTIRE, JURY TOLD

Raymond "Jack" Jarmack was in his sleeping attire when he was stabbed to death, the jury at Nancy Powers' murder trial learned Thursday.

Luana Shanahan, Jarmack's girlfriend, tearfully confirmed that the Dec. 15 death-scene photograph of his body showed Jarmack in the sweat pants and T-shirt he always wore to bed in wintertime.

Ms. Shanahan, 38, acknowledged that the photo also showed Jarmack without his wristwatch, which he always took off at bedtime.

The testimony could prove important because Ms. Powers has claimed that Jarmack abducted her and she killed him in self-defense.

A fourth day of testimony is scheduled today.

Ms. Powers, an Orchard Park school bus monitor who has been jailed since February, is accused of killing Jarmack, 42, in his Cook Road home in the Town of Aurora at about 9 p.m. on Dec. 15.

Ms. Powers claims she stabbed him after he confronted her about her alleged affair with his ex-wife, Kathy Phillips.

Jarmack had been stabbed 27 times. Ms Powers claims Jarmack abducted her at knifepoint in a parking lot three miles from his home and forced her to drive to his house.

Subpoenaed by prosecutors, Mary Lou Schmelzer, Ms. Powers' mother, testified that her daughter crawled into the home they shared on Big Tree Road in Orchard Park on her hands and knees covered with blood at about 11:45 p.m. that night saying, "Get a doctor, get a doctor."

Mrs. Schmelzer said her daughter insisted Jarmack had slashed her. A doctor testified on Wednesday that Ms. Powers' wounds were superficial and might have been self-inflicted.

Ms. Shanahan, a local hospital occupational therapist, testified that Ms. Powers had threatened Jarmack when they drove to Seneca Falls last year to try to get his three daughters to come back with them for a visit.

Disputing defense claims about Jarmack's alleged violent actions against Ms. Powers, Ms. Shanahan testified he "never displayed a temper . . ."

She acknowledged under defense cross-examination that a female Sewer Authority lab worker had filed a sex harassment lawsuit against Jarmack about four months before his murder and that his ex-wife had accused him of physically and sexually assaulting her during their 10-year marriage.

Ms. Shanahan said she is sure the sex suit, later dismissed against Jarmack, was just an attempt to get money, and she said Jarmack always denied his ex-wife's allegations of abuse. Ms. Shanahan said she had encouraged Jarmack to launch a court suit last year to regain custody of his three daughters by his ex-wife.

Ms. Shanahan said Jarmack never locked the doors to his rural home. She said she last called him at about 8:50 p.m. Dec. 15 and he claimed he was tired. She said when she called Jarmack again about 9:15 p.m. that night, she got his answering machine and assumed he was sleeping.

Ms. Powers is accused by authorities of sneaking into Jarmack's home, spraying him in the face with pepper spray and repeatedly stabbing him in a plot to foil the court action he had begun to regain custody of his daughters.

After she drove to Seneca Falls with Jarmack last year and he failed to convince his three daughters to come back to his home, Ms. Powers confronted him with an ominous "look in her eyes" and falsely accused him of threatening her own daughter, Ms. Shanahan testified.

Driving back home after that trip to Seneca Falls, Jarmack tearfully apologized for forcing her to witness that confrontation with Ms. Powers, Ms. Shanahan testified.

Mrs. Schmelzer testified that she knew that her daughter, Ms. Powers, was having an affair with Jarmack's former wife, who sometimes stayed at the Big Tree Road home.

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