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November 27, 2012

Suspect arraigned in fatal beating

CRESSON — A Summerhill man who authorities said beat another man to death with a baseball bat three weeks ago was arraigned Tuesday night for criminal homicide.

Gregory Russell Conzo, 50, of the 100 block of Sierra Street, had been charged with attempted homicide in the Nov. 5 attack with an aluminum bat on Michael Pcola, 37.

The charge was upgraded after Pcola died two days later at Memorial Medical Center in Johnstown.

Medical staff at the hospital treated him for brain trauma.

Authorities had been waiting for autopsy results before filing the homicide charge.

Cambria County District Attorney Kelly Callihan and Coroner Dennis Kwiatkowski are holding a news conference at 11 a.m. today in the Commissioners Meeting Room on the third floor of the county courthouse to discuss results of the autopsy.

Conzo appeared Tuesday handcuffed and dressed in a red jail jumpsuit. He was arraigned by on-call District Judge Charity Nileski of Cresson and sent back to the Cambria County Prison without bond.

“Yes ma’am,” Conzo said when the judge asked him if he understood the charges.

Conzo told the judge he was employed in the concrete business with his brother.

A criminal complaint filed by Summerhill Township police says that Conzo attacked Pcola.

Police said Pcola had come downstairs to check on a disturbance at his Sierra Street home.

Conzo allegedly had been involved in a brief argument with Lois Pcola, his one-time girlfriend, and their daughter, Maria. Conzo allegedly hit Maria on the left arm with the bat and swung it again, hitting Michael Pcola.

Pcola was pursuing a degree in criminal justice at Pennsylvania Highlands Community College.

He had served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1998 to 2002.

The new charges filed against Conzo also include aggravated assault, stalking, simple assault with a weapon and reckless endangerment.

Conzo has yet to be sentenced in a May 2012 domestic violence case involving Lois Pcola.

In that case, he pleaded guilty to simple assault, authorities said.

A preliminary hearing on the homicide charge is set for Dec. 5 before District Judge Galen Decort of Portage.



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