MT. PLEASANT (KDKA) — Another day passes, and for Leah Gustafason another day justice is delayed.
“Another wait, they just keep dragging it along.”READ MORE: Local Organizations To Receive Funding For Violence Intervention Programs
Gustafason, the mother of murder victim 13-year-old J.R. Gustafason spoke to KDKA after a hearing to move his alleged killer 14-year-old John Burnsworth’s case to juvenile court was continued.
“I have so much anger towards him and the family. It just makes me sick,” she said.
The incident happened in Mt. Pleasant on March 20 inside a home on Church Street.
“My son needs justice, he didn’t need his life taken away,” Gustafason said.
“This is a tragedy. A tragedy for J.R.’s family. A horrible tragedy for them. It’s horrible for my client’s family as well,” said defense attorney Richard McCague.READ MORE: Glassport Awarded $50,000 In State Grants For ATV Park Project
Claiming he thought the gun was unloaded, John Burnsworth is charged with shooting the teen at point blank range.
“He’s a 14-year-old juvenile with an IQ of 85 and has never been in any trouble before,” McCague said.
The gun was unregistered and unsecured. The firearm’s owner — 31-year-old Joshua Hudec — faces trial for those other charges. Brook Nelson, 18, who was home at the time of the killing, faces similar charges.
“Because of their behavior, my client pointed a gun at someone, a gun he thought was completely empty, and the gun went off,” McCague said.
But the victim’s mother insists “[Burnsworth] knew what he was doing.”
The new hearing is set for October. Until then, Leah Gustafason will continue to do what she’s done since that terrible day in March.
“It’s hard try to stay strong for my family and myself and definitely for my J.R.,” she said.MORE NEWS: First Responders, Residents And Pets Brace For Frigid Weather
John Burnsworth remains in the Westmoreland County Jail, held on criminal homicide charges. Meanwhile, J.R. Gustavason’s mom says she would like to see people become more aware when it comes to gun safety and firearms being nearby.