A young Bucks County woman was convicted Wednesday afternoon of first-degree murder in the beating and burning death of her mother inside a makeshift hut that they shared in the woods.
Rebecca Olenchock, 25, shook and wept as Judge Albert J. Cepparulo announced his verdict after a 2 1/2-day nonjury trial, but said nothing as she was led away.
Kimberly Venose, 44, died at her daughter's hands early Oct. 17 in their encampment behind a grocery store in Bristol Township. That morning, Olenchock, who had grown increasingly desperate to be free of the homelessness and poverty she had endured for two years, bludgeoned her mother with a baseball bat, set fire to the hut with kerosene, locked the screen door behind her and drove off to Tennessee to meet a boyfriend she had met online.
"The evidence in this case was overwhelming," Cepparulo said. The judge has not scheduled a formal sentencing date, but under state law, Olenchock faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. Prosecutors did not seek the death penalty.