Man given probation in beating death of bear hunter

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A Westmoreland County man has been sentenced to probation in the death of a man he beat up during a bear hunting outing four years ago.

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

Shesko pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the November 2008 death of Eric Melius, of Ebensburg, Cambria County. Authorities say Shesko attacked Melius after the man had taunted an Amish boy who was part of Shesko's bear hunting party along Duncan Road in Buffington.

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

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

neigh_east - neigh_westmoreland


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