Wal-Mart deer hunter gets probation

| Friday, Oct. 18, 2013, 10:29 p.m.

A Derry Township man who shot a deer in a crowded Indiana County Wal-Mart parking lot on the first day of buck season has been accepted into the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program for first-time offenders.

Arcangelo “Angelo” Bianco Jr., 40, avoided trial on charges of reckless endangerment, killing or taking big game unlawfully, failing to have a hunting license, discharging a weapon across a highway, discharging a weapon in a safety zone and using a motor vehicle to hunt illegally.

Bianco was not required to make a plea under the ARD program for first-time, nonviolent offenders. He can have his arrest record expunged upon successful completion of the probation period if he stays out of trouble.

In addition to serving six months of probation, he was ordered by Indiana Judge William J. Martin to pay $900 in costs, $180 in probation supervision fees and serve 20 hours of community service.

During a preliminary hearing last summer at which Blairsville District Judge Jennifer Rega ruled there was sufficient evidence for Bianco to stand trial, Rega heard from several witnesses who said the incident startled shoppers and employees at the store along Route 22 in Burrell Township.

Bianco had pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Wal-Mart employee Domenick Hewitt testified at the hearing that he was outside the store about 2:10 p.m. Nov. 26 when he noticed a pickup truck suddenly stop in the parking lot and speed in reverse toward the side of the store.

Hewitt said he saw the truck stop and Bianco get out and repeatedly fire a handgun at the deer.

Hewitt testified Bianco followed the deer and fired another shot as it crossed Old Route 22 toward a residential area behind the store, and two more shots when it fell in an unidentified woman's yard.

Bianco returned to his Chevrolet pickup truck, loaded the deer into the bed and drove away, Hewitt said.

The incident was recorded by surveillance cameras.

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