Regola's Handgun Linked to Death

Article excerpt

A 9 mm handgun registered to state Sen. Bob Regola has been linked to the death of a 14-year-old neighbor of the first-term lawmaker from Westmoreland County.

State police and the Westmoreland County Coroner's Office are attempting to determine whether Louis A.J. Farrell, of Hempfield, shot himself with Regola's pistol or was accidentally or intentionally shot in the head early Saturday.

Farrell's body was discovered about 8:30 a.m. by his family in the woods behind his home along Glenmeade Road, state police said.

Neither police nor the coroner's office would release further details Monday because of the investigation.

However, District Attorney John Peck and Regola's personal attorney, Mark A. Rush, confirmed the weapon found near Farrell's body was a 9 mm Taurus pistol registered to Regola.

"I was consulted by state police early Saturday who were on the scene, and that is the initial information I received. It's a continuing investigation, so I really can't comment any further," Peck said.

"This is a terrible tragedy. The senator and his family have cooperated completely with police, and out of respect to the deceased and his family, we're not going to comment any further at this time," Rush said.

Tom Hower, a spokesman for Regola, confirmed that Regola and his wife, Janette, were in Harrisburg Friday evening until Saturday morning because the Republican was receiving the Legislator of the Year Award from the Pennsylvania Sheriffs' Association.

Hower also read a prepared statement from Regola: "This is a very difficult time with the tragic loss of an outstanding young man. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family. …