Pitcairn man pleads guilty in killing of bicyclist in Point Breeze
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A Pitcairn man pleaded guilty today in the hit-and-run killing of a bicyclist in Point Breeze last summer and is expected to face up to five years in prison.
Jeffrey M. McClure Jr., 29, pleaded guilty to one felony count each of accidents involving death or personal injury and accidents involving death or personal injury while not properly licensed in the July 26 death of James Price.
The plea was part of an agreement in which the Allegheny County district attorney's office agreed to Mr. McClure serving between two and a half and five years in prison.
He was also sentenced to eight years' probation, according to a press release from the district attorney's office.
Judge Lazarra denied Mr. McClure's request to serve his time in the boot-camp program.
The Price family said the penalty should have been greater but that they were relieved the case is over.
"I thought it should be more, too, because he killed my son," Price's mother Glenice said. "He'll still be there. My son is gone."
Mr. Price's sister, Rochelle Jackson, was practical.
"We can't give him anymore than the law allowed," she said.
Ms. Jackson and her father, James Price Sr., attended the sentencing and said Mr. McClure seemed remorseful and apologized to the family.
"I've forgiven him," Mr. Price Sr. said.
Police said Mr. McClure, a recovering drug addict, was driving with a suspended driver's license when he fatally struck Mr. Price, 46, of Homewood in the 7400 block of Penn Avenue.
Police learned he was also speeding.
Mr. McClure drove away, according to a police affidavit, but was found two weeks later.
He initially told homicide detectives that a motorcycle struck his vehicle and caused him to hit a guard rail or tree, damaging his car, according to the affidavit.
He admitted that he actually hit a bicyclist while changing lanes after detectives told him no evidence existed to support his initial story, according to the affidavit.
"McClure heard a loud thump and then saw that the right upper corner of the windshield was shattered," according to the affidavit. "McClure knew immediately that he hit the bicyclist. He stated that he did not stop because he was scared."
Ms. Jackson said she tried to understand how Mr. McClure's car hit her brother.
"All he had to do was stop," he said. "I'm sure he didn't mean to hit him."
First Published February 12, 2013 11:54 am