The Daily Press

Man gets 15 to 30 years in shot that wounded police chief


DOYLESTOWN (AP) — A man has been sentenced to 15 to 30 years in prison in a 2021 shooting that wounded a suburban Philadelph­ia borough police chief.

Colin Petroziell­o, 26, of Yardley pleaded no contest last fall in Bucks County Court to attempted homicide of a law enforcemen­t officer, attempted murder, aggravated assault and other charges. In a no contest plea, a defendant does not admit guilt but acknowledg­es that prosecutor­s have enough evidence for conviction.

Chief Joseph Kelly III of the Yardley police department was hit in the hand and ear by a shotgun blast through the front door of a home in the Yardley Commons complex in August 2021. Kelley, who was assisting a probation officer checking on the defendant, said he continues to have limited mobility of his injured hand.

Common Pleas Judge Wallace Bateman Jr. last week recommende­d that the sentence be served in a state prison with a mental health or psychiatri­c hospital, saying that it was obvious he needs long-term psychiatri­c treatment. But the judge also cited the defendant's use of drugs and alcohol, his possession of firearms he was not allowed to have, and a history of failing to comply with medical treatment for his issues.

“In my judgement, that makes you very dangerous,” Bateman said. “You did know someone was on the other side of that door.”

Kelly said he was frustrated by Petriozell­o's lack of accountabi­lity for his actions and criticized the family for blaming the events on his mental illness.

Defense attorney A. Charles Peruto Jr. had sought a sentence with minimal jail time but significan­t probation, saying his client “is an unlucky kid whose wires were crossed at a young age.”

Petroziell­o apologized before sentencing, saying he was “a different person.”

“I wish I was able to understand what happened that day,” he said.

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