Man who shot, killed child denied parole

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A man convicted of involuntary manslaughter and related counts for the shooting death of a 14-month-old in Homestead in 1997 was denied parole earlier this month.

Vaughn Mathis, 39, is serving a 17 1/2- to 43-year sentence in Ryan Hacke's death.

Ryan was shot in the head as he sat in his car seat in his father's car as they returned home from a visit to his grandparents' home in Munhall on Jan. 11, 1997.

At the time, Mathis was 22, and free on bond on a rape case. According to prosecutors, he fired nine shots that day, trying to hit a teenager who had just gotten out of a van. Mathis claimed others were shooting at the time, too, and that his gun accidentally discharged as he pulled it from his pocket.

Tom and Mary Beth Hacke, Ryan's parents, organized an online campaign to fight against Mathis' release.

According to the notice filed by the state Board of Probation and Parole, Mathis was denied release based on: his institutional behavior, including reported misconducts; his risk level to the community; his prior unsatisfactory supervision history, and a negative recommendation by the prosecutor.

His next review date is March 2016.

Mathis is being housed at the State Correctional Institution at Somerset.

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