The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Breaking News

Local News

November 8, 2013

Basilone son, called ‘way out of hand,’ sentenced to jail

MERCER — For the next month or so, Devine A. Campbell, one of the men accused in the murder of William Basilone, and Westley W. Basilone, Basilone’s son, will be fellow inmates at the Mercer County Jail.

Westley Basilone seemed stunned that he was sentenced to jail for 1 to 15 months Thursday despite what he called a “mutual confrontation” that “got out of hand” with his ex-girlfriend, who was not charged with any crimes.

“Way out of hand,” said Mercer County Common Pleas Court Judge Thomas R. Dobson, who said that Basilone’s crimes were worthy of a state prison sentence.

The plea deal approved by the victim was the only reason Basilone will get to stay in Mercer County Jail, and get to keep his job through work release, Dobson said.

“You crossed a line that cannot be crossed,” the judge said.

Basilone, 35, of 1699 Maple Drive, Hermitage, pleaded guilty Aug. 12 to Hermitage police charges of terroristic threats, simple assault and reckless endangerment.

The incident occurred Sept. 21, 2012, at the woman’s home. While Basilone supporters have claimed the police account does not tell the whole story, police and the victim who testified at Basilone’s preliminary hearing clearly paint him as the aggressor during a four-hour ordeal. He is alleged to have shoved her against a wall, poked her eyes, slammed her head on the floor hard enough to chip her tooth, tried to suffocate her with a pillow, threatened to rape and kill her, punched her, and held his hand over her mouth and nose long enough for her to momentarily go unconscious.

The victim fled to a neighbor’s after Basilone apparently passed out from alcohol, police said. She was taken to a hospital for treatment, and that was where police initially were called from.

Dobson noted that Basilone choked the woman hard enough to leave finger marks on her throat.

The victim told Dobson the episode was a “life-threatening experience,” one which brought on post-traumatic stress disorder.

She said she knew the relationship was deteriorating past the point of being healthy, but she stayed with him because she loved and cared for him.

“No one who comes out of an abusive relationship can say they left soon enough,” she said.

She said she fears for herself and her family every day.

“I can assure her he has no interest in any contact (with the victim),” defense attorney Randall T. Hetrick said. “He’s not a danger to her.”

Basilone agreed and said he has had no dealings with her since that night in question.

Hetrick said Basilone’s case is unique because “you can look at the case and see what happened,” meaning it was a direct result of his father’s death.

“He was very close to his father,” Hetrick said. “That has been very difficult for him to deal with, adjust to.”

It hasn’t helped that the cases against the men accused of killing William Basilone, Campbell and Joshua L. Stewart, who was convicted earlier this year and sentenced to life in prison, have dragged out for two years.

“He can’t get closure until these cases are over,” Hetrick said. “He basically revisits these cases every single day.”

William Basilone was gunned down Dec. 20. 2011, outside his Farrell bar. His son and the victim began their relationship sometime after the murder.

Stewart is in Allegheny County Jail under a federal detainer.

Westley Basilone has sought mental health treatment, Hetrick said. He goes to counseling and takes medication, and Hetrick said he has noticed that the treatment has helped.

Basilone also works full-time at a local tube mill as well as running the bar he inherited from his father.

Dobson said he understands what Basilone has gone through, how “devastating” the murder of a parent is, and how he had to “become” his father by taking over the bar.

Dobson sentenced Basilone to serve 18 months’ probation once he is off parole, and gave him credit for 5 days he has already served in jail.

Text Only
Local News
  • Farrell man, 24, arrested on warrant in connection with April shooting

    Federal marshals and local police arrested Dontae Rashad Pinkins Thursday on a warrant accusing him of involvement in an April shootout in Sharon.

    Pinkins, 24, of Farrell, is in Mercer County Jail after failing to post bond on gun charges.

    Additional details to follow.

    July 25, 2014

  • Firm will study timing of traffic signals

    Hermitage commissioners on Wednesday hired Whitman, Requardt and Associates LLP to study the timing scheme of traffic signals along parts of Hermitage Road and East State Street.

    July 25, 2014

  • 3 area fire depts. awarded grants

    Three area fire departments will share in more than $590,000 in grants meant to help Pennsylvania’s rural communities guard against the threat of fires in forests and other undeveloped areas, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Ellen Ferretti announced.

    July 25, 2014

  • One suspect in home shooting is jailed

    The first of three suspects police say were involved in an attempted robbery that ended in a shooting is in jail.

    July 25, 2014

  • Dancing kids K.I.D.S. day

    Hoping to reach children at just the right age, when they are old enough to understand but not past the point where it may be too late, Mercer County Behavioral Health Commission counselors held an “alternative activities” day at the courthouse Thursday, complete with music and dancing, hot dogs and treats, games and T-shirts.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Better security Grant available to boost security in district courts

    County officials are looking to quickly upgrade security systems in the five district judge offices, not due to an increase in risk, but because current systems are antiquated and there is a short window to apply for some financial help with the costs.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Officials split over selling older monitors

    What to do with a pile of older LCD computer monitors, keyboards and mice remains up in the air until the third, and often absent, county commissioner makes a decision.

    July 24, 2014

  • Police anxious to talk with victim

    Sharon police want to talk to a West Hill man about several other men who came to his house shortly before he was shot and critically wounded Tuesday.

    July 24, 2014

  • AED presentation Heart-friendly pool

    The Lackawannock-Shenango-West Middlesex Pool has some pretty obvious changes from when it was opened almost 46 years ago.

    July 24, 2014 4 Photos

  • Sharon man 'stable' after being shot in his West Hill home

    A Sharon man was in stable condition this morning after being shot by one of several men he had let into his West Hill home, police said.

    July 23, 2014

  • GJR killer not eligible for parole, court rules

    State Superior Court on Tuesday reversed a local judge’s decision that the sentence for one of two men who killed a night supervisor at George Junior Republic, Pine Township, was unconstitutional.

    July 23, 2014

  • Duplicated files, former worker confesses

    A Mercer woman accused of stealing customer lists, billing information and other data from her former employer headed off trial Monday by pleading guilty to a charge of unlawful duplication.

    July 23, 2014

  • Starved house Vandals vent their emotions

    Vandals kept police busy Sunday and Monday nights at a home in Greenville where the Mercer County District Attorney’s office said a boy was starved and beaten by his mom.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Couple, another man charged in thefts

    Pennsylvania State Police have filed charges of burglary, theft, receiving stolen property and criminal mischief against an East Palestine, Ohio, couple and another man in connection with two robberies in rural Mercer County.

    July 22, 2014

  • Taking stock Where’s the beef? Bull’s still missing

    Is it possible that an alien abduction took place in the Mercer area last week? A solid red, 2-year-old Watusi bull with 3-foot-long horns has been missing since July 14 with no trace of its existence left on earth.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo