Clarion University student apologizes in court for Rural Valley shooting
By Renatta Signorini, LEADER TIMES Wednesday, October 20, 2010 Last updated: 5:16 am About the writer
Renatta Signorini is a Leader Times staff writer and can be reached at 724-543-1303, ext. 1319 or via e-mail.
A man who admitted to firing a gun into a Rural Valley apartment on March 1 told a judge Tuesday that he is getting his life back on track.
"I feel like I've ... taken the necessary steps to get myself in the right direction," said Andrew Myroslow Helo, 19, of Jenkintown, a suburb of Philadelphia.
Helo was sentenced Tuesday to 180 days to two years less a day followed by five years probation. He was credited with 22 days spent in the Armstrong County Jail and will serve 158 days under house arrest with electronic monitoring.
He was ordered to pay $3,913 in restitution.
Helo was a Clarion University student when he entered a Brookville, Jefferson County apartment between 1:30 and 2 a.m., took a .22-caliber rifle and demanded of the occupants to be told the whereabouts of Kevin Allshouse, according to court documents.
Between 3:35 and 3:50 a.m., Helo attempted to break into a Rural Valley apartment occupied by Allshouse and his parents, police said. While outside, Helo allegedly fired about 10 shots into a sport-utility vehicle and two shots into the apartment with the stolen rifle.
The vehicle was not registered to Allshouse, police said.
Helo has said in court that his student status has been suspended by the university pending the outcome of his case.
Defense counsel John Knorr told Judge Kenneth Valasek said Helo had adjustment problems upon attending Clarion University and was prescribed medication for depression.
"One thing led to another and he found himself engaged in serious criminal activity," Knorr said.
Helo has spent time in drug-treatment programs since his arrest and has been sober for nearly 100 days. According to court documents, the incident was apparently related to $800 worth of marijuana.
"He has indicated to me remorse for what he has done in this case," Knorr said.
According to court documents, Helo was accompanied by then-Clarion University students Jamar Xavier-Ramon Mitchell, 19, of Munhall, and Gregory Clayton-Vaughn Ford, 24, of Pittsburgh. The cases for both men have been transferred to Jefferson County.