PITTSBURGH — A former armored car guard was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison plus 10 to 20 years for killing his partner and robbing their truck of $2.3 million, but not before he asked the judge not to ‘‘lecture’’ him.
Kenneth Konias Jr.’s comments drew an audible gasp from the friends, relatives, and co-workers of his victim, fellow Garda Cash Logistics guard Michael Haines.
Konias, 24, of Dravosburg, initially told Allegheny County Judge David Cashman he had no comments to make before sentencing. Cashman then reviewed the evidence and ridiculed Konias’s trial claims that he had shot Haines in self-defense. The judge said that Konias plotted for months to steal the money — probably to impress a girl he wanted to date — and killed Haines during their Feb. 28, 2012, route because the other guard was all that stood between Konias and the small fortune.
‘‘It became abundantly clear that Michael Haines was a dead man when he walked into the truck’’ that day, Cashman said.
‘‘Your honor, may I?’’ Konias interrupted. Despite being told ‘‘no’’ by Cashman, Konias continued, ‘‘I was going to suggest that you not lecture me and that you can give me this sentence so we can all proceed.’’
Cashman resumed by telling Konias that, ‘‘You’ve already been shown mercy by the Haines family, by not requesting the death penalty. Consider yourself fortunate that you will not be on death row.’’
District Attorney Stephen Zappala Jr. opted not to pursue the death penalty after consulting with Haines’s family.