Towson slaying victim mourned 400 pack church for stabbing victim's funeral.

June 06, 1991|By Glenn Small | Glenn Small,Evening Sun Staff

More than 400 mourners crowded into St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Carney today to pay their last respects to Eugenia "Gina" Courtalis, the 22-year-old Perry Hall woman stabbed to death Saturday at the Towson Marketplace.

As family members quietly sobbed, three priests sang prayers in Greek and then urged the family to pull together and draw strength from one another.

"I know that you are full of anger and rage right now," one priest said. "I know that it is your anger and your rage that keeps you on your feet and going forward . . . I share your anger. I share your rage."

But the priest urged the family to remember Gina the way she was, happy and smiling, and to choose the love of God over an earthly justice, "which is elusive."

After the service, each of the mourners passed by the white casket, adorned with flowers, and kissed Gina's hands. Two of her brothers clutched each other and sobbed.

Courtalis was then buried in the church cemetery. Police say she was murdered at her job as a counselor for Nutri-Systems Weight Loss Center.

The man accused of killing Courtalis, Robert Patrick Lipinski, 27, of the first block of Oakwood Road in Dundalk, yesterday was denied bail and ordered returned to the county detention center.

"I didn't mean to hurt anybody," witnesses quoted Lipinski as saying in court. "I just snapped."

Court papers said Lipinski, a cleaning man, was the last person known to have seen Courtalis alive Saturday. He gave a confession to detectives yesterday, the file said.

Sources yesterday said that Lipinski told police his family was about to be forced out of its Dundalk apartment and that Courtalis' criticism of his work on Saturday caused him to snap and take out his frustration by attacking her.

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