July 31, 2014

Elyria
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Plea deal rejected in Petric murder case

ELYRIA – The 16-year-old Brighton Township boy accused of killing his mother and attempting to kill his father was ready to admit he was guilty of murder Friday in Juvenile Court.

Daniel Petric`s defense attorney James Kersey made the offer given that it would mean his client only could be imprisoned until he was 21. But since the offer was turned down by Assistant County Prosecutor Tony Cillo, Daniel will be tried as an adult and could receive 25 years to life in prison if convicted.

“It`s simple math,” Kersey said. “I put it on the record so that everything was perfectly clear. There`s so many times where the defendant later says, ‘Gee, if I would have known I could do that I would have done that.` ”

Daniel sat expressionless throughout the proceedings in Common Pleas Court Judge David Berta`s courtroom, never looking at his sister, brother-in-law or grandfather who sat in the benches behind him.

Daniel`s grandfather, Michael Broeckel, buried his head in his hands as Berta set a $1 million bond for Daniel, who was being held in the juvenile wing of the county jail.

Daniel`s sister, 21-year-old Heidi Archer, and her husband, Andrew, sat holding each other next to Broeckel, red-eyed, but not crying. Heidi Archer called 911 after finding her mother and father shot in their Brighton Township home.

She and her husband had gone to her parents` house to watch the Indians game about 7 p.m. Oct. 20. As they walked up the steps to the front door, they were met by Daniel, who told them they couldn`t come in, according to sheriff`s deputies.

Heidi told a 911 dispatcher she heard a strange noise coming from her father, so they forced their way into the home and encountered the bloody scene.

Her mother, 43-year-old Sue Petric, was shot three times, with the first bullet glancing off her chest and hitting her in the right upper arm and the second going through both forearms when she threw her arms up in defense, county Coroner Paul Matus said.

The third and fatal bullet went into her brain from the left side of her head when she turned her head out of reflex, Matus said.

The Rev. Mark Petric, pastor at New Life Assembly of God in Wellington, was shot once in the face. He was listed in good condition Friday night at MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland.

Daniel`s relatives who attended Friday`s hearing declined to comment to reporters while leaving the courtroom.

Contact Adam Wright at 653-6257 or awright@chroniclet.com.