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Pa. Men Gets Life For Firebombings

May 31, 2002

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PITTSBURGH (AP) _ A man will receive life in prison for planting a pipe bomb that killed his pregnant ex-girlfriend and her 3-year-old daughter.

A jury deadlocked on sentencing Joseph Minerd, 46, to death or life in prison without parole. By federal law, he will now receive a life term when sentenced Aug. 8.

``Obviously, everyone’s relieved,″ said Minerd’s attorney, Richard Kammen.

Two weeks earlier, the same jury convicted Minerd of malicious destruction of property using fire or explosives resulting in death, the same law used to prosecute Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.

The bomb planted by Minerd killed Deana Mitts, who was seven months pregnant, and her daughter Kayla on New Year’s Day 1999. Minerd had threatened to kill Mitts when she refused to have an abortion and planted the pipe bomb in her home.

The Mitts family had not asked for the death penalty.

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