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Woman Tied to Porn Star’s Death Won’t Be Released

Woman Tied to Porn Star’s Death Won’t Be Released
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May 11, 2004 8:11 AM PDT    Text size: 
WHITEMARSH, Pa. – The woman charged with lying to police about porn star Taylor Summers’ death won’t be released from county jail, a judge ruled late last week.

Described as a transient prostitute who made much of her earnings in Philadelphia, Janet Mitkus has been charged with unsworn falsification to authorities and hindering apprehension for allegedly lying about her last contact with the 23-year-old Summers.

The prosecution is attempting to keep the pressure on Mitkus by keeping the assistant behind bars, according to Montgomery County Public Defender Carolyn T. Carluccio.

Carluccio is representing 30-year-old Mitkus, who was working as an assistant to photographer Anthony J. Frederick, 46, who was charged with murder in connection with the death of Summers.

Summers disappeared Feb. 29 after posing for Fredericks in a bondage shoot that had been arranged over a website, prosecutors say. Summers’ body was found nearly a month later, naked and slashed and still wearing bondage devices.

Prosecutors said investigators found a note in a camera bag in Frederick's home that served as a contract between a photographer and an actor. The contract listed various types of video and photo shoots and used the phrase "snuff vid," a pornographic film depicting someone being murdered.

Detectives obtained several bloodstained items from Frederick's car and from his apartment in Conshohocken, Pa., and the DNA matched that of Frederick and Summers.

Carluccio contends authorities want to keep the pressure on Mitkus to gain her cooperation in the investigation of Summers' death.

"These charges carry no jail time whatsoever, and she already has spent six weeks in jail on bail that she cannot make," she said.

Prosecutors speculate Mitkus knows more about Summers’ murder than she has shared. They also are investigating whether Mitkus had any involvement in the slaying or its aftermath.

Carluccio asked that Mitkus be released on her own recognizance. She currently is being held in prison on lieu of $10,000 cash bail.

The public defender also asked a judge to throw out the charges against Mitkus, claiming prosecutors failed to present sufficient evidence at her preliminary hearing to hold her for trial.

Authorities cannot prove when and where Summers died, Carluccio said.

Mitkus told detectives she witnessed Frederick pay Summers $900 before Frederick drove away, leaving Summers alive at her car.

No one saw Summers after that.

Summers’ body was found in March in Whitemarsh, Pa., wrapped in a backdrop detectives said Frederick used during the photo shoot.

Police said Summers was wearing a ball gag similar to the one Frederick used during the photo shoot.

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