Judge Oks 1St-Degree Murder Case In Sleeping Woman's Death

GREENSBURG, Pa. (AP) — A judge has ruled that prosecutors will be allowed to seek a first-degree murder conviction against a man accused of killing a sleeping woman by firing several shots into a western Pennsylvania home in the mistaken belief that someone inside was part of a botched drug deal.

Nathan Quidetto, 23, of Unity, is charged in Westmoreland County with criminal homicide, reckless endangerment and weapons offenses in the July 2020 death of 52-year-old Tracy Marie Squib.

State police allege that Quidetto wanted to scare someone involved in the botched drug deal but drove to the wrong house — “not even close to being at the right house,” a police spokesman said — and fired several shots at the home around 4 a.m., hitting Squib, who was sleeping inside along with her husband and two children.

Defense attorney Emily Smarto argued there was no evidence that Quidetto intended to kill Squib and argued that the first-degree murder count should be dismissed, but the Tribune-Review reports that the judge disagreed.

Common Pleas Court Judge Tim Krieger said defendants can be convicted of murder “where the commonwealth proves that the only difference between the intended result and the actual result is the person harmed."

Krieger also rejected a separate defense attempt to bar prosecutors from using Quidetto’s statements to investigators. The defense argued that Quidetto asked for a lawyer, but the Tribune-Review reports that earlier he agreed to speak with investigators without legal representation because it would take his lawyer too long to arrive.