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Jail ordered for North Huntingdon man in shooting, thefts

| Friday, May 27, 2016, 11:00 p.m.

A North Huntingdon man who shot his roommate in the chest with a sawed-off .22-caliber rifle and stole money and Christmas gifts from eight other victims will serve up to two years in jail.

Kyle A. Parker, 19, told a judge the crimes were driven by a marijuana habit, but he has been too “stressed out” with family and work concerns to seek drug treatment. He entered guilty pleas on Friday to charges that include aggravated assault, burglary and theft in nine criminal cases. During his sentencing hearing on Friday, Parker told Westmoreland County Judge Christopher Feliciani the shooting was an accident. He said he took the money and gifts from the cars and homes because he needed cash for marijuana.

“I was not employed then,” Parker said. “I had bad influences. I have cut ties with those people.”

As per terms of a plea agreement, Feliciani sentenced Parker to 11 ½ to 23 months in the county prison, followed by three years of probation. He is to get drug and alcohol treatment and to make restitution.

The restitution includes at least $54,000 to cover the victim's medical bills, according to Feliciani.

Parker wanted to remain free for another two weeks to spend time with his family. Feliciani denied the request when Parker said he never stopped smoking marijuana because he has been “too stressed out trying to work” and spend time with family.

“How do you think all these victims feel, (including) the gentleman who was shot in the chest?” Feliciani said.

Police said Parker was showing off his altered .22-caliber rifle when it accidently fired Dec. 29, 2014, critically injuring his then-roommate, Anthony Venturella, 23, in Parker's mother's home on Brownstown Road.

Parker said the shooting was an accident. Barbara Jollie, assistant district attorney, said Venturella was hospitalized for at least a week. He has recovered and moved out of state, she said.

Feliciani described the sentence as “light,” but he said he imposed it because it was part of a negotiated plea and is within the recommended guidelines.

Liz Zemba is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 412-601-2166 or lzemba@tribweb.com.

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