2014-01-24 / State

Trial ordered in death after snow blower fight

SWOYERSVILLE (AP) — A northeastern Pennsylvania man has been ordered to stand trial in a shooting death that authorities said stemmed from a fight over a snow blower.

Brian Pavia, 39, of Plains Township, is charged in the Dec. 17 death of 38-year-old John Dulsky in Forty Fort.

Defense attorneys say their client acted in self-defense after being punched in the face by Dulsky. They say groceries found in Pavia’s car and his 911 call seconds after the shooting prove that he didn’t intend to kill anyone.

“I need help, a guy just came after me. I shot him; I need your help very badly. Please hurry!” Pavia is heard screaming on the 911 recording.

Prosecutors, however, argued Wednesday that intent can be formed in only a fraction of a second.

“Long before groceries can thaw, someone can form the thought to kill someone else,” Assistant District Attorney Jarrett Ferentino said.

A district judge sent an open count of criminal homicide to Luzerne County Court and rejected a defense request to dismiss first- and second-degree murder charges.

Both men had been contracted by a law office to work at the site, and police said the two had had “numerous runins” in the past, but authorities said Pavia told them he had not known that Dulsky would be there. Police Chief Daniel Hunsinger said officers were investigating a report that Pavia had filed a harassment complaint against Dulsky.

“There have been incidents in the past where they’ve argued, and they just didn’t get along,” Hunsinger said.

Forty Fort Officer Brian Casella, who was first to arrive, said Pavia was treated in a hospital emergency for facial injuries.

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