PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ A judge has ordered a man held without bail on charges he shot and killed a teen-ager after a snowball had broken the window of his home.
Edward M. Smith was charged with shooting Peter McGettigan, 16, once in the chest with a handgun Jan. 30 shortly after a group of youths threw snowballs outside his home.
″I wanted to scare them so they would leave me alone,″ Smith, 47, was quoted by police as saying.
Municipal Court Judge Ronald Merriweather ordered Smith held without bail Thursday on murder charges, ruling Smith was a danger to the community.
In a statement to police and read by Detective Raymond Dougherty, Smith said he had fired twice at the youths.
″I raised the gun up to fire a shot over their heads,″ Doughtery quoted Smith as saying. ″I slipped on the top step and the gun went off again.″
Stanley W. Bluestine, Smith’s attorney, said after the hearing that Smith’s statement ″clearly shows he was acting under extreme provocation.″
Smith said his family had been harassed by neighborhood youths for more than six years, the statement said. Smith is the father of four children, three of them mentally handicapped, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
The snowball-throwing incident that led to the gunfire was the third time that day youths had thrown snowballs at his house, Smith told police.
Smith told police he confronted the group of eight to 10 youths with a .357-caliber Magnum pistol. He said someone threw something at him before the shots were fired.