Edward Smith could spend at least five years in jail, separated from the family he tried to protect, for fatally shooting a youth who was among neighborhood troublemakers pelting his house with snowballs.
Youths had harassed the family repeatedly for six years. They had broken into a basement radio repair shop and scrawled graffiti on the walls.Smith finally cracked when a snowball smashed a window and cut one of his daughters on Jan. 30, 1987.
Later that night, more snowballs hit the house and Smith went out on his porch with a .357-caliber Magnum revolver. He fired two shots toward a group of boys. He intended them as warnings, he told police.
But one shot hit Peter McGettigan in the spine and exited through his chest. The 16-year-old high school sophomore died, leaving his parents, six siblings, Smith's family and their neighborhood in agony.
Smith, 49, was convicted Monday of third-degree murder and sentenced to five to 10 years in prison.
Common Pleas Judge Eugene H. Clarke Jr. also found Smith guilty of weapons possession and reckless endangerment in the non-jury trial.