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Regola might ask for trial to move

Rich Cholodofsky
| Thursday, May 3, 2012, 5:03 p.m.

State Sen. Robert Regola is considering asking for a jury from outside Westmoreland County to decide his fate on perjury and firearms charges.

Defense attorney Duke George said Monday the freshman Republican senator from Hempfield will file a series of motions in a month challenging the criminal charges filed in the aftermath of the fatal self-inflicted shooting this past summer of Regola's 14-year-old neighbor.

On Friday, Regola formally waived his right to appear in court June 29 for an arraignment. Regola submitted paperwork in which he pleaded not guilty to the charges against him and asked for a jury trial.

Regola, 44, is charged with three felony counts of perjury, allowing his teenage son access to a firearm, reckless endangerment and making false statements under oath. Authorities contend Regola's 9 mm Taurus semiautomatic was used in the suicide last summer of Louis Farrell.

Farrell's body was discovered July 23 in the woods behind his home with a gunshot wound to the head. The boy had access to the Regola house a day earlier to walk the family's dogs.

The shooting and subsequent arrest of Regola and his son gained instant attention.

"With the jury pool we have we have to make a determination if we can get a fair and impartial jury in Westmoreland County because of all the publicity. The biggest problem is whether we can get a fair and impartial jury," George said.

In addition to a potential change of venue motion, the defense will ask a county judge to throw out the case against Regola, saying there is not enough evidence to warrant those charges.

George said that motion should be filed in about a month.

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