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Cambria Co. man sentenced for killing man with baseball bat

By: Marc Stempka

EBENSBURG, Pa. -- A Cambria County man will spend up to 40 years in state prison for killing another man with a baseball bat after an argument in November 2012.

Cambria County Judge Patrick Kiniry sentenced Gregory Conzo Tuesday to 15 to 40 years in prison for the death of Michael Pcola, 37, of Beaverdale. Conzo will not be eligible for early release.

Investigators said Pcola tried to intervene in an argument between Conzo and his daughter, when Conzo swung an aluminum baseball bat twice, hitting his daughter in the arm and Pcola in the head the night of Nov. 5.

Pcola was knocked out instantly and died in an area hospital on Nov. 7.

Conzo was originally charged with criminal homicide, but plead guilty to third degree murder in December 2013.

In previous court appearances, Conzo said he swung the bat at Pcola in self-defense. Kiniry said at sentencing he didnt believe those original claims.

The night of the attack on Pcola happened hours before Conzo was to be sentenced on Nov. 6 for assaulting Pcolas mother, who was then Conzo's girlfriend.

Kiniry sentenced Conzo on Tuesday to 12 to 24 months in state prison for that assault.

Kiniry said part of that sentence was to include a mental health evaluation for Conzo, as well was counseling and treatment to address domestic violence and drug and alcohol treatment, but that sentencing never took place following Conzos attack on Pcola.

6 News reporter Maria Miller was at the sentencing hearing and said Conzo took the stand, but frequently stopped because he appeared upset. His defense team said Conzo has been extremely remorseful and said Pcola's death wasn't meant to happen.

Conzo's brother also took the stand, saying the events from that night have torn the family apart, Miller reported.

Pcola's two sisters also testified. Both said their lives have been nightmares because of Conzo, Miller reported. They said Conzo was abusive toward their mother, that he had threatened them before and that they wanted him locked away for a lengthy period.

Kiniry said while issuing his sentence that not just Pcola's family needs protection from Conzo, but society also needs protection from him and that he has an anger management problem that needs to be resolved, Miller reported.

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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times