Homicide Charge Challenged In Slaying At Mistaken Location

DERRY, Pa. (AP) — A defense attorney says a homicide charge should be dismissed 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, 21, of Unity, is charged in Westmoreland County with criminal homicide, reckless endangerment and weapons offenses in the July 20 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 argues in court documents that prosecutors haven’t presented sufficient evidence for the homicide charge, the Tribune-Review reported. She is also seeking to bar Quidetto’s statements to police, alleging that three interrogations were improperly conducted, and says police have no evidence otherwise.

Smarto suggested after a preliminary hearing last summer that her client fired random shots with no intent to kill.

Common Pleas Court Judge Tim Krieger said a hearing on the pretrial motions will be scheduled next month.