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Bethel Park widow defends slain spouse

| Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2009

Tracy Pavlick wants her husband to be remembered as a loving father of five children, and not for a fatal love triangle.

"The news is destroying the family. The twist being put on what happened is not true," Pavlick, 42, of Bethel Park said Monday.

"My husband lived his whole life in Bethel Park and put on the majority of roofs here. He's one of the most honest, kindest and generous people out there. His death should not be turned into something ugly."

Police say John Pavlick, 49, the owner of a family roofing company, was run over and killed in a neighbor's front yard early Sunday after fighting with a man who had dated his wife. Police charged Jason Kasper, 35, of Bethel Park with homicide, drunken driving and vehicular homicide.

Kasper is in the Allegheny County Jail without bond. He faces a hearing Friday.

Attorney Bill Stockey said he had been contacted by the Kasper family about representation but had not been retained and could not speak on Kasper's behalf.

Tracy and John Pavlick were married for eight years, but she filed for divorce in July 2008.

"We went through a bad part of our marriage and we were separated for a short time. I dated and that ended. He and I were working things out," Pavlick said.

She said her husband was a genuinely happy guy who liked to laugh, dance and listen to '80s music. He played golf and rode quads with his children.

"Our youngest one considers him his big teddy bear. All of his children's friends considered him their dad. His hobby was spending time with his children."

According to a police affidavit supporting the charges against Kasper, Tracy and the suspect dated during her separation.

Police said the Pavlicks went to a Halloween party at Ann's Restaurant Saturday night. John Pavlick left briefly to go to another bar. While he was gone, Kasper spoke with Tracy Pavlick, who told him she and her husband were going to another party and suggested Kasper meet them there, the affidavit states.

"We were spending time with friends," Tracy Pavlick said yesterday. "That portion of the story is being blown out of proportion beyond belief."

At the second party, Kasper began "lingering around" and made Tracy Pavlick uncomfortable, so the couple went home, the affidavit states.

"In Bethel Park, there's only a few places to go and it was Halloween. It wasn't like it was a normal Saturday night," Tracy Pavlick said. "(Kasper) and I maintained a friendship. It was nothing more than that. He was friends with my husband. That's why it was so uncomfortable.

"So we left. I never told him to come to my house."

Pavlick said Kasper showed up drunk at her home and nearly hit people at a neighborhood block party up the street.

According to the affidavit, she told him to go away, but Kasper demanded to know whether she planned to leave her husband. He said he would not leave until she told him whether she was leaving her husband.

John Pavlick came out, and he and Kasper wrestled on the lawn. Kasper got free and went back to his car, which was parked in front of the home. She said he backed up while turning onto the lawn toward John Pavlick.

Kasper told police he drove forward and his foot got stuck sideways under the brake pedal and on the gas pedal. When he applied the brake, John Pavlick fell off the front of the car and the vehicle slid over him, Kasper told authorities.

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