ShareThis Page

Former Everson man sentenced in shooting death

| Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2002

GREENSBURG - A Fayette County man will be at least 70 years old before he has a chance to be released from prison under a sentence imposed Monday in Westmoreland County Court.

Kenneth R. Lane, 55, formerly of Everson, was sentenced to 1 was sentenced to 15 to 40 years in prison for third-degree murder in the shooting death of his estranged wife's boyfriend in her Scottdale home.

Mark Allen McBeth, 43, was shot and killed by Lane after the defendant barged into Joann Lane's home, pulled a 9 mm semiautomatic pistol from the back of his pants and shot the victim once in the chest on Feb. 18, 2001.

Lane faced a first-degree murder charge and nine other counts, but those charges were dropped by prosecutors after the defendant decided to plead guilty to third-degree murder in September.

The maximum sentence for third-degree murder is 20 to 40 years, the amount Tom Grace, Westmoreland County assistant district attorney, asked Judge Debra A. Pezze to impose.

He submitted impact statements from McBeth's family, who all were too distraught to testify during the sentencing hearing.

However, a tearful Joann Lane did testify as to how the murder has affected her and her sons, who both were at home at the time of the shooting.

She had been separated from her husband for about two months and had been dating McBeth at the time of the murder.

She called McBeth "a wonderful man. He was quiet. He was shy. He was a really very nice person."

Joann Lane's 15-year-old son, Andrew Pandullo, witnessed the shooting. Her 8-year-old son, David, was upstairs at the time.

"We were just begging for our lives," Joann Lane said, claiming that after shooting McBeth her husband pointed the gun at her and Andrew.

In asking Pezze to impose the maximum sentence, Joann Lane said she and her sons are still afraid.

"It's just unreal to think we may have to look over our shoulders (someday)," she said. "... We're afraid of him, and that's where he wanted us to be."

But the defendant's daughter, Danielle Lane, testified her father is not the man he was being characterized as.

"My dad in 22 years has never raised a hand to me," she said. "I have never seen him that angry in my life. I have never seen him do anything violent."

Defense Attorney Tim Dawson offered written statements of four people vouching for the character of Kenneth Lane.

Dawson asked Pezze to consider the fact Lane pleaded guilty to third-degree murder, thereby sparing the McBeth family the pain of a trial, as she decided on the sentence.

"He has accepted responsibility," Dawson said.

But Grace asked the judge to consider that Lane shot McBeth without provocation within feet of a child and that the victim, by the accounts of his family and friends, was a kind, loving person.

"He had his entire life ahead of him when he was senselessly gunned down by the defendant," Grace said.

Lane apologized to the McBeth family and the court for his actions, but Pezze was not swayed.

She said Lane should spend the rest of his life in prison for the crime, but she was bound by the sentencing guidelines for third-degree murder.

"This is a crime that has brought almost unspeakable devastation," she said. "... And here are you - a 55-year-old in what should be the golden years of your life - and you're going to spend them in prison."

Reeger what should be the golden years of your life - and you're going to spend them in prison."

Reeger is a reporter for the Tribune-Review.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.

click me