Latrobe veteran accused of trying to kill family withdraws guilty plea
A Westmoreland County judge on Thursday allowed a Latrobe veteran to withdraw his guilty plea entered last year to charges that he attempted to kill his wife, stepdaughter and sister-in-law in 2017.
Scott Matuszky, 47, contended he received bad advice from his former lawyer in agreeing to a plead guilty to all nine counts filed in connection with an incident at his home in which family members said he attempted to injure himself during an alcohol-fueled rage.
Following a brief hearing on Thursday, Common Pleas Judge Tim Krieger approved Matuszky’s request to withdraw the plea.
Matuszky in June appeared before Krieger to be sentenced on three counts each of attempted murder, aggravated assault and making terroristic threats. The judge canceled that hearing after Matuszky said he wanted to withdraw his plea.
Police said that on Oct. 7, 2017, Matuszky stabbed his wife, stepdaughter and sister-in-law as they attempted to stop him from injuring himself. According to court records, Matuszky stabbed the women when they tried to calm him during the incident. Matuszky’s stepdaughter was stabbed as she attempted to shield her mother, police said.
Matuszky’s new lawyer, Assistant Public Defender Greg Cecchetti, said then that his client pleaded guilty because he erroneously believed the deal allowed for the judge to dismiss some of the criminal charges.
Cecchetti said Matuszky is a former member of the military who served overseas in Somalia, where he was involved in several dangerous and deadly battles. That service left Matuszky with post-traumatic stress disorder and in need of a mental health evaluation prior to a trial, his lawyer said.
Prosecutors said Matuszky previously rejected a plea deal in which he would have served 71⁄2 to 15 years in prison.
Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Rich at 724-830-6293, [email protected] or via Twitter .