Man pleads guilty to killing father with hammer, but judge must still decide degree of killing

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EBENSBURG, Pennsylvania — A western Pennsylvania man has pleaded guilty to a charge of criminal homicide for killing his father with a hammer before breaking into his safe and stealing money to buy drugs.

But a Cambria County judge must still decide the degree of 32-year-old Jonathan Kuzma Jr.'s guilt at a hearing next month.

The Johnstown man was arrested after the Aug. 2 death of 52-year-old John Kuzma.

Authorities contend Kuzma hit his father twice with the hammer, stabbed him 15 times and took cash, prescription drugs, and a handgun, then tried to buy heroin in several places while alerting relatives that he had killed his father.

District Attorney Kelly Callihan says she'll argue the killing was first-degree, or premeditated, murder punishable by life in prison. Kuzma's attorney will argue for a lesser charge and penalty.

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