2 Adults Charged In Connection With Teen’s Shooting Death Working On Plea Deals

MOUNT PLEASANT (KDKA) — Two adults, charged in connection with the shooting death of a 13-year-old boy in Westmoreland County, are working on plea deals.

However, the victim’s father says he would prefer if the case went to trial.

“A plea deal, all it is, is you sign a piece of paper and that’s it,” said Mark Gustafson, the victim’s father. “I personally would like it to go to trial because I think they should live it out, see the pain it caused me and my family.”

Charged with child endangerment and firearms counts, 32-year-old Joshua Hudec and 19-year-old Brooke Nelson were in the courtroom Tuesday.

It was Hudec’s gun that police say 15-year-old John Burnsworth allegedly used to shoot 13-year-old J.R. Gustafson inside 151 Church Street in Mt. Pleasant.

“My client wasn’t’ there,” said William Wiker, Hudec’s attorney. “That’s the difference, he wasn’t there.”

According to court records, Nelson and Burnsworth wanted to scare Gustafson into leaving. Nelson took Burnsworth into another room showed him a pistol. The two thought it was unloaded.

Burnsworth allegedly grabbed the gun and then returned to where Gustafson was. He allegedly pointed the gun at the victim and pulled the trigger. Gustafson died instantly.

“The one person that should have the most time would be Brooke,” the victim’s dad said. “She was the one that was there, she was in charge of the kids that day and from my understanding she took the kid into the bedroom and gave him the gun.”

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The parties have until June to work out a plea deal, if not, both face trial.

“I don’t get a deal. My family don’t get a deal for losing my son, but at least we get a part in saying what the plea deal will be,” the victim’s father said. “I won’t accept nothing less than jail time.”

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