Mar. 31—WILKES-BARRE — No sooner than Dana Ganjeh offered condolences to the family of the woman he was convicted of murdering, he berated them.
When informed a sister of Linda Frick prepared a victim’s impact statement to be read at his sentencing Wednesday, Ganjeh remarked the family hadn’t been there for her until today.
But before Luzerne County Judge David Lupas imposed a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole, he reprimanded Ganjeh, standing shackled and handcuffed in front of him, for what was perceived as a threat. Lupas also denied a last-minute motion filed by Ganjeh for a new trial.
Ganjeh, 43, remained unapologetic, saying he was wrongfully convicted of first-degree murder in the death of a Frick, who had been in an abusive relationship with him.
“I believe I was railroaded here in this courtroom,” Ganjeh protested.
A jury found him guilty on Sept. 17, 2021 after a three-day trial. Prosecutors alleged Ganjeh beat Frick, 56, at a home in Wayne County where she lived with her brother. Her body was found on Aug. 4, 2018 under a blanket in a Toyota Rav4 parked behind Ganjeh’s residence on Price Street in Kingston. An autopsy revealed Frick had 17 broken rib and severe bruises on her head, chest and right ankle that had been slammed in a vehicle door.
Assault, burglary, strangulation and other charges are still pending against Ganjeh in Wayne County.
The Luzerne County case was one of self-defense, Ganjeh said, adding witnesses lied.
“I believe in justice. This wasn’t justice at all,” Ganjeh said.
The defense’s portrayal of Frick during the trial was an unsympathetic one in order to place blame on her for what happened, her sister Sharon said in the statement read by Assistant District Attorney Thomas Hogans.
Sharon Frick described her sister as the oldest of six children, a single mother of two children, a grandmother and beloved aunt to seven nieces and nephews.
“Linda was a free spirit. With an infectious smile she had a contagious laugh that we all loved,” the younger sister’s statement said. “Linda would have had a lot of years left. Unfortunately those years came to an abrupt end. Her life was taken away from not only her, but all of us.”
Sharon Frick acknowledged her sister drank, but it was no justification for Ganjeh to brutally murder her. Frick said her sister was trying to distance herself from Ganjeh, who would not stay away.
“Consuming alcohol does not make one’s life less valuable. The fact is Linda was at home. Linda was minding her own business and Linda was staying far away from Dana,” the statement said. “He just couldn’t let her be. If I’m being blunt, Dana is just an extremely dangerous man. Imagine the amount of hate and rage inside that it has to take to be that violent, that savage, that brutal.”
In addition to imprisonment, Lupas ordered Ganjeh to make restitution of $14,961 for services provided by the Pennsylvania State Police, the county Coroner’s Office and the District Attorney’s Office to lodge a trial witness. He informed Ganjeh of his right to file an appeal and gave him credit for the time served in the Luzerne County Correctional Facility since his arrest nearly four years ago.
Attorney David Lampman, who was appointed to represent Ganjeh after the trial, asked the court for additional time to file the appeal because of the difficulty getting transcripts of proceedings. Without them Lampman said he did not know what issues to raise.
“I asked for everything, but I just didn’t get it,” Lampman said.
Lupas said he did not have a problem with giving Lampman additional time.
Reach Jerry Lynott at 570-991-6120 or on Twitter @TLJerryLynott.