Laurel Mountain man apologizes for killing girlfriend, gets 20-40 years in prison | TribLIVE.com
Westmoreland

Laurel Mountain man apologizes for killing girlfriend, gets 20-40 years in prison

Renatta Signorini
1623836_web1_gtr-randall-081414

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 .

Categories: Local | Westmoreland
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 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.