Laurel Mountain man apologizes for killing girlfriend, gets 20-40 years in prison
A Laurel Mountain Borough man was sentenced Tuesday to 20 to 40 years in a state prison for the 2014 beating death of his live-in girlfriend.
Gregory Randall, 62, apologized through tears while pleading guilty to third-degree murder for killing Angela Marie Cavalero, 52, at their home in May 2014.
“I’m so sorry for what I did to Angela, I’m so sorry,” Randall said.
The case came to a close Tuesday when Randall accepted a plea agreement with prosecutors, avoiding trial that was set to start Sept. 9. In exchange for the plea, District Attorney John Peck dropped a first-degree homicide charge which carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison.
The victim’s family approved the agreement but was not present in court because of transportation issues, Peck said. A family member could not be reached after the hearing.
Randall was arrested in Robinson Township, Allegheny County, after Cavalero’s body was found inside their Westmoreland County home. Police said she had 29 wounds from a beating inflicted by a hammer and a wine bottle during an argument.
“I never should’ve touched her,” Randall said Tuesday. “She smashed me in the face with a TV dinner because I didn’t want to go to her mother’s house that day. I lost my temper … and I was upset with her, pissed off… .”
Randall told Judge Meagan Bilik-DeFazio that he picked up a hammer that was lying in the house.
“I beat her to death with it,” he said.
Randall was deemed competent to stand trial this year. The case was delayed numerous times because of competency and pretrial issues.
The defense sought to have Randall found incompetent for trial because of memory and cognitive impairments as a result of a traumatic head injury he suffered when he was 19 in a severe car crash. Attorney Brian Aston had planned to seek a diminished capacity defense, claiming the head injury left him unable to form an intent to kill.
Aston said after the hearing that Randall’s case is a “prime example of the failure of the mental health system” and society’s inability to support that type of system financially.
“We deal with these people day in and day out in a courtroom and they end up paying for them to the court system and to the jail system and … most times, there’s some family that’s paid a heavier price than the rest of us as they mourn the loss of a loved one,” Aston said. “That’s what this case is all about. He has a traumatic brain injury, this was an inevitable thing that was going to happen. If we would’ve had the funding in place, perhaps there would’ve been services available and this family wouldn’t be mourning the loss of a loved one.”
Randall repeatedly asked for forgiveness during the hearing.
“I’m a Christian man now,” he said. “I’m sorry for what I did to my girlfriend. … I was totally sinful.”
Renatta Signorini is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Renatta at 724-837-5374, [email protected] or via Twitter .