Man gets up to 16 years for fatally beating teen in Elizabethtown park

Lancaster

ELIZABETHTOWN, Pa. (WHTM) – A man accused of fatally beating a teenager in Elizabethtown Borough Park last summer will serve up to 16 years in prison.

David Skalla, 24, of Camp Hill, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Lancaster County Court to a felony count of aggravated assault and a misdemeanor count of involuntary manslaughter. He will serve 8-16 years.

Police said Skalla assaulted 16-year-old Blake Shearer on Aug. 6, 2018, causing head injuries that resulted in a complete loss of brain function. Shearer died at a hospital four days later, about a month before he would have started his junior year at Elizabethtown High School.

Witnesses told police that Shearer was playing music loudly. When Skalla told him to stop and Shearer refused, the witnesses said Skalla struck the teen three or four times on the top of his head.

Skalla wrote a short apology that was read to the court at his sentencing hearing. “I should have been the bigger man and walked away,” he wrote.

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