Saturday, September 13, 2014

Man admits killing mother as part of an assisted suicide pact

MONTICELLO - Andrew Moore broke down in tears Thursday in Sullivan County Court as he pleaded guilty to fatally strangling his mother as part of an assisted suicide pact.

Moore will face a maximum sentence of five to 15 years behind bars in the plea bargain agreement. In return, he pleaded guilty to a second-degree manslaughter charge for assisting his mother, Margaret "Peggy" Regalia of Bloomingburg, in committing suicide in January.

Judge Frank LaBuda posed one last question before Moore was taken away in handcuffs.

"So, you strangled the last breath out of your mother with your hands?"

"Yes," Moore said as he began to cry.

Regalia was found dead in a house on Nashopa Road in Bloomingburg after her daughter Jennifer and Mike Panet, Jennifer's husband, asked police to check the house when the ShopRite in Montgomery, where Regalia worked, notified them she had missed two days of work.

District Attorney James Farrell said Moore and his mother had a "suicide agreement," to which Moore had confessed when he was initially arrested. Farrell said the investigation confirmed that.

Farrell said Moore, 29 when he strangled his mother, was "very troubled," but his remorse did not appear to be fake.

"The fact he has remorse is a good thing," Farrell said. "But he still has to held accountable for his actions and for taking her life. And he'll have to live with what he did for the rest of his days."

Moore is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 18.