A Loudoun County Ciruit Court jury found escaped Delaware convict Theodore L. Szfranski guilty yesterday of raping, stabbing and murdering 19-year-old Cynthia Turek of Annandale and abducting her and a companion from a Springfield shopping center last August.
The jury fixed Szfranski's sentence at six life sentences and 40 years for murder, attempted murder, rape, robbery, two counts of abduction, carrying a shotgun and grand larceny. Szfranski was given the maximum sentence for each offense.
The jury deliberated about four hours after hearing testimony about Miss Turek's abduction, the discovery of her battered body in a Loudoun County field and the four-state search for four escaped Delaware convicts. Szfranski was arrested when he crashed Miss Turek's car into a Virginia Beach police cruiser after a high-speed chase.
The prosecution's chief witness in the case was Stephen Slaght, 19, Miss Turek's companion. He described how he was beaten on the head, stabbed 15 times in the neck, choked with a piece of blanket, thrown down a wooded embankment, "like a sack," and left for dead. He managed to crawl to two intersections before a motorist would help him, he testified.
Slaght testified Tuesday that he and Miss Taurek picked up Szfranski and another man Aug. 24 at the Brookfield Shopping Center in Springfield after the men asked for directions to seminary Towers apartments.
Miss Turek, driving her recently accquired blue and white Dodge Challenger, drove the men toward a freeway when "one of them pulled out a sawed-off shotgun," Slaght testified.
The shotgun, "was being held right in front of my face," by Szfranski sitting in the back seat, Slaght testified.
Slaght was later told by the men to get in the car's trunk, he said.
The car then stopped at a rural field near the Dulles Industrial Park, Slaght said, where he was told to remove all his clothing except his jockey shorts and socks. The men then told Slaght to lie face down on a quilt where Miss Turek, fully clothed in jeans and a yellow knit shirt was sitting.
"Then he (Szfranski) told us he had the shotgun and we shouldn't try anything stupid because he could easily kill anybody within 20 feet," Slaght said.
Slaght testified he was then told to get back into the trunk.
"That was the last time I saw Cindy," Slaght said.
After about 40 minutes, Slaght was released from the trunk. The men bound his wrists behind his back, gagged him, tied his ankles together, then pushed him to his knees, Slaght testified, dry eyed but frowning.
"Then they hit me over the head very hard with something and knocked me over. Then they hit me again. Then they put a strip around my neck and strangled me with one foot on my back between my shoulders. I took a deep breath of air, "Slaght testified.
"Then they started stabbing me all over. They reached the (knife) blade around the front of my throat and slit my throat. Then they threw me down a bank into some bushes. Just like a sack . . . " Slaght said.
A one pont Slaght stepped down from the witness stand and showed the jurors, craning their necks to observe the red scar around his neck extending from ear to ear and the multiple stab wounds on the back of his neck.
"I lied still for what seemed to be an hour," before crawling to safety, Slaght said. "I was afraid they were still around and they'd finish me off."
Szfranski's attorneys tried to show that because Slaght was blindfolded in the trunk much of the time and the field was dark and unlighted, he may not have been able to recognize his assailant.
But Slaght, who during his testimony glanced several times at Szfranski, pointed out Szfranski as his assilant. Szfranski rocked slowly in his chair, ankles crossed, chewing gum and showing no emotion as he stare back at Slaght during the seven-day trial.
Szfranski and William A. (Tony) Julian, another prison escape who will be tried on similar charges next week, were arrested Aug. 26 and charged with three armed robberies in Virginia Beach. Two other inmates who are accused of escaping with Szfranski have since been arrested.
Szfranski was serving the last year of an 18year sentence for auto theft, escape and assaulting another inmate with intent to commit manslaughter.