Judge removes himself from state senator's gun trial

Posted: August 01, 2007

GREENSBURG, Pa. - A judge has removed himself from the case of a state lawmaker charged with lying about a gun used by a teenage neighbor to shoot himself to death.

Westmoreland County Court Judge Richard E. McCormick Jr. said his high school history teacher is the grandfather of the teenager who shot himself with a gun belonging to State Sen. Robert Regola. In addition, he said, the boy's father is a lawyer with the firm he worked with before becoming a judge. "I don't want there to be an appearance of any impropriety," McCormick said Monday. "Nobody asked me to recuse myself; I just decided it was the right thing to do."

Regola (R., Westmoreland) has been ordered to stand trial on charges stemming from the July 2006 death of the 14-year-old, a friend of Regola's teenage son, Bobby. The death was ruled a suicide. Authorities accuse Regola of lying under oath at a coroner's inquest into the death. - AP

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