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For week ended February 13, 2000 Posted 24 Feb 2001
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Summarized by Kent Larsen

LDS Grandfather Who Shot Teen Charged With Murder
Los Angeles Times 11Feb00 D2
By Louise Roug: Special to The Times

BUENA PARK, CALIFORNIA -- LDS grandfather Pete Tavita Solomona, 47, has been charged with murder and will be arraigned on February 22nd. Solomona, who shot a popular 17-year-old after he and his friends stole a plastic Halloween pumpkin from his yard, claims the shooting was accidental and will plead not guilty.

As previously reported on Mormon News, [see and] Three teenagers claim they mistook Solomona's house for the home of a friend on the evening of October 18th and stole a two and one-half foot high plastic pumpkin from his yard as a prank. When they returned later in the evening Solomona confronted them with a loaded .357 magnum, and he says the gun accidentally discharged, killing 17-year-old Brandon Ketsdever.

The case has gained regional and national attention and re-ignited debate on gun control. Neighbors generally considered Solomona a dedicated family man and active member of his local LDS church.


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