PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — In sentencing Richard Krista for the double homicide, Allegheny County Judge Joseph Williams said the crime, beyond the killing, is the arrogance of a generation for which human life is less and less respected.
“It was the third time that we tried the case,” said prosecutor Robert Schupansky. “It’s not easy to listen to facts in a homicide case and we’d just like to extend our thanks for their verdict.”
And that guilty verdict in this first-degree murder case led to today’s sentence: two consecutive life terms without the possibility of parole for 22-year-old Richard Krista.
The prosecutor says Krista killed Cody Ruder and Joseph Sherrill because of comments made to his girlfriend.
The prosecutor also says an eyewitness, for example, lost his job because he was harassed at his job by people who considered him a snitch and the employers wanted to distance themselves from further trouble.
The juries got a firsthand look at the scene of the 2012 homicides: the Monview Heights housing complex in West Mifflin.
The first two juries could not reach agreement on a verdict. A third jury voted guilty of first-degree murder.
“We’d like to thank the witnesses for coming forward,” said Schupaksky. “It’s not easy to have to come to court and remember things that most people don’t want to know and would rather forget.”
A letter was read from victim Joseph Sherrill’s sister Shelly who wrote about what could have been, and what is.
“He planned to enlist in the Army,” she wrote. “My heart hurts. Sometimes it’s a dull pain.”
Defense attorney James Wymard, who declined comment after the sentencing, has raised a number of procedural issues with this case and plans to appeal.
Suspect In 2012 Monview Heights Double Fatal Shooting Found Guilty (6/5/14)
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