MERCER — Randall Harland Leaf will spend up to 15 years in jail for the murder of his wife, Gretchen Pallack.
Leaf, 59, formerly of 129 S. Broad St., Grove City, was sentenced Nov. 29 in Mercer County Common Pleas Court by Judge Ronald D. Amrhein Jr.
He was ordered to serve 7½ to 15 years for the 2021 crime at the couple’s home, where Leaf reportedly beat Pallack to death with a dumbbell.
Leaf, who’s in Mercer County Jail, had been scheduled for trial in November; he instead pleaded guilty to third-degree murder.
Charges of first-degree murder and aggravated assault were dismissed. If he had gone to trial and was convicted of first-degree murder, he could have gone to jail for life.
Leaf has also been ordered to pay fines and court costs, which total about $17,000, according to online court records.
Grove City police were dispatched on June 16 to the couple’s home to check on a man who said he was “bleeding and dying.”
Police had to break into the property and found Leaf, who was taken to the hospital with self-inflicted injuries.
Police found Pallack in the basement apartment; they lived with their teenage son below the downtown storefront for their business, Superior Bedding, which remains closed.
The teen, who was unharmed, told police that he was heading downstairs when he heard his parents arguing, followed by a “thud.”
As he turned around to go back upstairs, Leaf headed that way and said “I did it. I killed her,” police said. The teen left the property and locked the doors.
When police later questioned Leaf at the hospital, he claimed that Pallack abused him and “drove him insane.”
Police asked Leaf if that led to what happened, with Leaf saying “I did it. There’s your confession.”
Police noted that they had been called to the property several times in recent years for a domestic dispute and an incident of Leaf harming himself.