Christian Squillaciotti, the former Marine who admitted shooting a fellow motorist in the head during a 2008 road-rage incident, was sentenced to 13 to 26 years in state prison plus 35 years of probation this morning in Common Pleas Court.
Common Pleas Judge Rose Marie DeFino-Nastasi handed down the sentence following a nearly two-hour sentencing hearing during which Squillaciotti's history of mental illness and of being sexually abused as a child was detailed by his mother and others.
Squillaciotti, 35, of South Philadelphia, listened with his head titled downward, rarely looking elsewhere.
"There are people who endure things that are as bad or worse who never make the choices that he made," Assistant District Attorney Thomas Lipscomb told the judge in arguing for a long sentence.
Defense Attorney Christopher J. Angelo asked the judge to consider the defendant's service to his country, the abuse he suffered and the fact that he pleaded guilty to the Oct. 5, 2008, shooting.
Squillaciotti shot Thomas Timko, 43, in the head that evening after the two men had words while driving on the Schuylkill Expressway. Timko's eight-year-old daughter, Kaitlyn, was in the car, but was uninjured.
In his police statement, Squillaciotti said he thought Timko had pointed a shiny object at him before the shooting. No weapon was found in the victim's car.
Police said two bullets hit the SUV and one shattered a window, striking Timko. Shell casing from four bullets were recovered.
Timko, who is still recovering from his wounds, was in court with family. In a statement read by Lipscomb, Timko told the judge he has no medical insurance and had lost his home due to his mounting medical bills.
"I feel if Christian Squillaciotti is not punished to the fullest extent of the law, he will do this again. But next time he will kill somebody," Timko said.