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Posted 26 Mar 2001   For week ended March 02, 2001
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Sent on Mormon-News: 27Feb01

By Kent Larsen

Solomona Sentence Reversed, Family Seeking Bail

BUENA PARK, CALIFORNIA -- In a surprising turn of events, the conviction of Peter Solomona for fatally shooting the teenager who stole a plastic pumpkin from his yard in October 1999 was reversed Friday by the trial court judge. The reversal left Solomona's family scrambling to come up with $25,000 to get their father and grandfather released from jail pending a new trial in April. The judge ruled that he hadn't adequately instructed the jurors on the law.

However, the family doesn't hold out much hope in the retrial after the judge made a statement Friday that Solomona's story was "unbelieveable" and that he is "guilty of some crime." Solomona, a grandfather and LDS Church member, claims that the shooting was an accident.

Solomona was scheduled to be sentenced last Friday, following his conviction last December, when Judge John J. Ryan made his surprise ruling. Solomona's son, Leland, 21, told the Orange County Register Saturday that while the family had some hope, they realized chances of Peter Solomona's acquittal were very slim. "It's still an uphill battle," Leland Solomona said. "We got a break (Friday) night. It ain't over, and we ain't celebrating yet." He said that the family hopes to spend time with their father and grandfather, who faces 15 years to life in prison should he be convicted. He said the family's plan was to "be with him and get as much good memories with him," he said. "Sometimes memories is all you got."

Leland Solomona also expressed the family's regret for the death of 17-year-old Brandon Ketsdever, the youth killed in the incident. "A million times I have put myself in their shoes, and I feel for them," he said. "But they look at my dad as a cold-blooded killer. ... We're terribly sorry for this incident, but he is not fully to blame." Leland says the family continues to put their faith in God. "The best we could do is hope and pray, and (God) came through yesterday in a very big way," he said.


Family tries to raise bail after verdict is reversed
Orange co CA Register 25Feb01 D2
By Vik Jolly: The Orange County Register
JUSTICE: 'We ain't celebrating yet,' son says, as relatives seek $25,000 to free Solomona until his retrial.

See also:

After 14 Months Of Silence, Solomona Tells His Story


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