Man gets probation in beating death during Indiana County bear-hunting trip

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A western Pennsylvania man has been sentenced to probation in the beating death of a man during a bear-hunting outing four years ago.

Stephen Shesko, 64, avoided a prison sentence Wednesday after an Indiana County judge found that health problems made Mr. Shesko unfit for incarceration.

Mr. Shesko pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the November 2008 death of Eric Melius. Authorities said Mr. Shesko attacked Mr. Melius after the man taunted an Amish boy who was part of Mr. Shesko's bear hunting party.

Mr. Melius died about 36 hours after the attack having left a hospital against a doctor's orders.

Indiana County Judge William Martin said Mr. Shesko could've walked away from the confrontation but continued to assault Mr. Melius after he fell to the ground.

Mr. Shesko's attorney said he deeply regrets his actions.

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