Lawmaker charged with perjury over gun


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Desertdog
March 27, 2007, 04:01 PM
Lawmaker charged with perjury over gun - Yahoo! News

http://www.sierratimes.com/rss/newswire.php?article=/news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070327/ap_on_re_us/lawmaker_s_gun&time=1175023110&feed=us

GREENSBURG, Pa. - A state senator was charged Tuesday with improperly storing a handgun and then lying about it to authorities after a 14-year-old neighbor used the gun to kill himself.
Louis Farrell was found shot to death on July 22 with state Sen. Robert Regola's 9 mm handgun at his side in the woods behind the two families' homes.

The teenager had a key to Regola's house so he could take care of the legislator's pets while Regola was at the Statehouse, and Westmoreland County Coroner Ken Bacha earlier this month ruled the death a suicide. Regola, his 17-year-old son Bobby, and their attorneys have repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

Regola was charged Tuesday with three counts each of perjury and false swearing and one count each of reckless endangerment and illegal possession of a weapon by a minor.

The perjury and weapons charges are both felonies, each punishable by up to seven years in prison. The reckless endangerment and false swearing charges are misdemeanors punishable by up to two years in prison each.

If convicted of perjury, Regola would automatically lose his Senate seat. The state constitution bars someone convicted of embezzlement, bribery, perjury or other "infamous crime" from holding public office.

Regola declined to respond to questions Tuesday except to say that he was waiting to talk to his attorney, Charles Porter. Regola was scheduled to turn himself in at a Greensburg district judge's office Wednesday.

Porter did not immediately return a phone message Tuesday.

The criminal complaint accuses him of possession of a firearm by a minor for allegedly letting his son keep the gun in his room before the shooting.

At a coroner's inquest, the senator said the gun was never stored in Bobby's room.

But two state troopers testified that on the day Louis was found dead the senator told them the gun had been kept in Bobby's room months before, but that it had been stored in his bedroom the night before Louis was found shot.

A friend of both boys had testified that Bobby pulled the gun from a case beneath the nightstand in his bedroom a year or two before the shooting and showed him and Louis how to load it.

Bobby Regola refused to testify after invoking his right against self-incrimination

An attorney for Louis' family, Jon Perry, said the family disagrees with the suicide finding. They don't allege that Bobby killed his young friend intentionally, but they believe he knows how the shooting occurred, Perry said.

"We have said from the very beginning that the state senator and his family have not been truthful or cooperative the entire time," Perry said. "The district attorney has now reached the same conclusion, and Bobby Regola has taken the Fifth, so I'm asking the same question I've been asking since the beginning: What happened in the woods on July 22nd?"

Regola and his wife were out of town at the time of the shooting. Bobby Regola had spent the day at an amusement park with his girlfriend before coming home and having a five-minute phone conversation with Louis late the night before he died.

___

Associated Press writers Mark Levy in Harrisburg and Joe Mandak in Pittsburgh contributed to this report.

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Steve in PA
March 27, 2007, 04:09 PM
§6110.1. Possession of firearm by minor.

(a) Firearm.—Except as provided in subsection (b), a person under 18 years of age shall not possess or transport a firearm anywhere in this Commonwealth.
(b) Exception.—Subsection (a) shall not apply to a person under 18 years of age:
(1) who is under the supervision of a parent, grandparent, legal guardian or an adult acting with the expressed consent of the minor’s custodial parent or legal guardian and the minor is engaged in lawful activity, including safety training, lawful target shooting, engaging in an organized competition involving the use of a firearm or the firearm is unloaded and the minor is transporting it for a lawful purpose; or
(2) who is lawfully hunting or trapping in accordance with 34 Pa.C.S. (relating to game).
(c) Responsibility of adult.—Any person who knowingly and intentionally delivers or provides to the minor a firearm in violation of subsection (a) commits a felony of the third degree.
(d) Forfeiture.—Any firearm in the possession of a person under 18 years of age in violation of this section shall be promptly seized by the arresting law enforcement officer and upon conviction or adjudication of delinquency shall be forfeited or, if stolen, returned to the lawful owner.

Kim
March 27, 2007, 07:58 PM
I do not agree with these laws. I hate the way this country has made most things illegal and a felony. No common sense. Someone must always be blamed and charged or sued. It is the mark of an ill and sad society. Not a more enlightened and progressive one.

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