The murder of Jack Parkes by military veteran Michael Lapaglia is featured in the latest episode of Murder In The Heartland on Investigation Discovery.
When Carol Lapaglia returned to her Kennedy Township home in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on July 21, 2014, she found her fiance dead on the living room floor between the couch and the television with the remote near his hand.
Parkes died from a single gunshot wound to the side of the head.
An investigation revealed that Michael entered the couple’s home through an unlocked door and stole their jewelry before shooting Parkes, 59, who was supposed to get married several weeks before his death.
Surveillance footage captured Michael pawning jewelry at a pawn shop the following day.
He was arrested on August 2, 2014, on charges of first-degree murder. He told authorities that he suffered post-traumatic stress disorder after he returned from Afghanistan. He went on to say that he went to the couple’s home with plans of ransacking the place for jewelry and money, but he ended up getting into a scuffle with Parkes.
Michael said the pair were fighting when the gun accidentally went off, but police officials and the jury weren’t buying his story.
Following a three-day trial in 2015, an Allegheny County jury deliberated for an hour before finding Michael guilty of murdering his aunt’s fiance.
Judge David Cashman called the killing “senseless, stupid, and mean-spirited” before sentencing Michael to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Michael also received an additional 10 to 20 years for robbery.
Murder In The Heartland — Death Before Marriage, airs at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery.