October 25, 2014

Elyria
Partly cloudy with showers
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Daniel Petric pleads not guilty

ELYRIA — The son of a Wellington pastor pleaded not guilty this morning in county Common Pleas Court to charges that he fatally shot his mother and critically wounded his father.

Daniel Petric, 16, appeared via video feed from the county jail, his face emotionless, much like it has been in previous court appearances, as his attorney spoke on his behalf.

Daniel is being tried as an adult on charges of aggravated murder, murder, attempted aggravated murder, attempted murder, felonious assault and tampering with evidence. He could be put behind bars for the rest of his life if convicted.

He is being held on a $1 million bond, although his attorney, James Kersey, asked Judge Jim Burge to reduce the bond to a reasonable amount. Burge did not rule on the request.

Daniel’s father, 45-year-old Mark Petric, a pastor at New Life Assembly of God, watched silently from a front-row bench as his son was shown on the monitor, hair disheveled and wrists shackled. He sat holding the hand of his daughter, 21-year-old Heidi Archer, who discovered her mother’s body and whose quick reactions might have saved her father’s life.

It was the first time Mark Petric could attend a hearing for Daniel since being released last month from MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland. He spent 27 days there undergoing multiple treatments and surgeries.

Mark Petric has told The Chronicle he has forgiven his son.

Daniel is accused of shooting his father in the face and his mother in the forearms, shoulder and head in the living room of their Brighton Township home Oct. 20. Sue Petric, 43, died instantly.

Archer discovered the shootings when she arrived at the home with her husband to watch a baseball game. She called 911 and instructed her husband how to care for her father while Daniel fled in the family van. He was picked up by Wellington police minutes later.

Contact Adam Wright at 329-7151 or awright@chroniclet.com.