Pair plead guilty in death of disabled Harrison man
Two men charged with killing a disabled man in his Harrison home pleaded guilty Thursday to involuntary manslaughter.
Larry Duff, 57, and Jason Link, 22, were accused in the beating death of Ronald Duff, 61, in a house they all shared. The Duffs are brothers.
Duff and Link are scheduled to be sentenced before Allegheny County Common Pleas President Judge Donna Jo McDaniel on July 18.
Investigators said the men beat Ronald Duff with their fists and a wooden stick on Oct. 14 after the mentally challenged man spilled a bowl of soup on the floor.
The next morning, they found Ronald Duff unresponsive and told a 911 operator that he fell down the stairs.
Police arrived to find Ronald Duff “severely malnourished” and living in “deplorable” conditions, according to a criminal complaint.
In addition to involuntary manslaughter, Link pleaded guilty to aggravated assault for using a battery-operated Taser on Ronald Duff when he had outbursts. Larry Duff also pleaded guilty to neglect of a care-dependent person.
As part of a plea deal, prosecutors agreed their sentences would be in the standard guideline range. Link faces 3 to 4 1⁄2 years in prison. Duff could get 2 to 3 years in prison.
Mike Manko, spokesman for the Allegheny County District Attorney's office, said the office would have no comment on the case at this time.
Prosecutors said Ronald Duff had moved in with his brother's family from a nursing home a few months before the incident and Larry Duff was collecting his brother's Social Security checks.
Larry Duff's wife, Lisa Duff, is charged with neglect of a care-dependent person, simple assault and tampering with evidence. Her trial, also set for Thursday, was postponed. A new date has not been set.
Adam Brandolph is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-391-0927 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
More Valley News Dispatch
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.