The amount of coddling that goes on with these negligent and/or abusive dads just defies all decency. Dad MICHAEL LANESE has pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter charges in the shooting death of his 9-year-old son back in 2008. (Daddy apparently left his guns unsecured, and the boy was shot by his twin brother). After the shooting, Daddy fled the country for two years to avoid prosecution. He was finally caught in January. But now he just does a little sobbing in court and he's out of jail. As for visitation with the surviving son? You would think it would be up to the boy's mother (if not ended completely) , but no--that's been left to the "discretion of a Family Court Judge." WHY?
Upper St. Clair Father Who Fled After Son's Death Can Go Home
Police Say Michael Lanese Moved To Vietnam After Boy Was Shot
POSTED: 10:00 am EDT July 8, 2010
UPDATED: 4:37 pm EDT July 8, 2010
Sobbing softly in court, a father from Upper St. Clair pleaded guilty Thursday to charges related to his son's shooting death, and he should be released from jail later in the day.
Michael Lanese came back from Vietnam and was arrested in January after police said he tried to skip out on charges of involuntary manslaughter and endangering the welfare of children. A new charge of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution was added.
Channel 4 Action News' Bob Mayo reported that Lanese appeared before Allegheny County Judge Jill Rangos on Thursday morning and was sentenced to 11 1/2 to 23 months in jail, with credit for time served and parole for the balance of that time. Lanese was also ordered to spend 10 years on probation.
"I'm sorry, Christian," Lanese said, referring to his late son. He also apologized to Rangos.
Lanese's ex-wife -- the mother of the child -- was in court to hear the judge's decision but did not speak.
Lanese's son, Stephen, accidentally shot Christian when the twin boys were 9 years old in October 2008. Police said the guns had been left unsecured in Lanese's home on Eton Road after he tried to sell them at a flea market.
The children's mother told Channel 4 Action News that Stephen is 11 now and is living with her and doing well.
Rangos ruled that any future contact between Lanese and his son will be at the discretion of a Family Court judge.
Lanese was free on bail and was supposed to have gone to trial in October 2009. After he didn't show up for court, FBI agents filed a complaint stating that evidence showed he sold his home furniture to a consignment store and bought a plane ticket to Los Angeles, then continued on to Taipei and Saigon.
"Through tears and halting speech, he said that he apologized to the court and that he's appreciative to the court for the opportunity to make an apology," defense attorney John Knorr said. "He accepts total responsibility for what happened."
January 25, 2010: Upper St. Clair Dad Who Skipped Trial For Vietnam Brought Home
December 23, 2009: Upper St. Clair Father No-Shows Trial, May Have Fled Country
March 18, 2009: Emotional Officer Recounts Scene Of Boy's Shooting By Twin
October 22, 2008: DA's Office Takes Over Upper St. Clair Twin's Fatal Shooting
October 20, 2008: Investigation Of 9-Year-Old Upper St. Clair Boy's Death Continues
October 19, 2008: 9-Year-Old Fatally Shot In Upper St. Clair