Westmoreland County

Man pleads guilty in double murder of Westmoreland County couple

PENN TOWNSHIP, Pa. — Rob Erdeljac has a lot to reflect on over the past year. He lost his son, Jake, to a violent crime at the hands of Victor Steban.

”I’m satisfied. It brings closure. He’s punished. Nothing brings Jake back,” Erdeljac said.

Steban pleaded guilty to all charges and will spend the rest of his life behind bars without the chance of parole.

Recent coverage: One year later: brutal double murder shakes Penn Township, shatters two families

The Erdeljc family read emotional victim impact statements in court Wednesday.

”That comforts us to some extent also, but there’s a lot of broken hearts which you can understand not only in our family, but Jake had a bunch of friends, more friends than I would’ve imagined he had,” Erdeljac said.

Jake and his girlfriend, Mara Casale, were ambushed in the driveway of his Penn Township home last May.

Steban was lying in wait for hours, and shot and killed the couple before continuing on a three-day crime spree where he shot into two homes, set his own house on fire and tried to steal a pickup truck at gunpoint.

Erdeljac said there is still no concrete answer as to why his son was targeted.

“He did not know my son Jake. We knew Jake. He didn’t know Jake. He was a jealous man. He was an evil man. He’s a man filled with hatred,” he said.

Steban did not have anything to say to the families on the way to spend his life in jail, only sharing a message with the Pagans.

”The Pagan motorcycle is the only club who will promote somebody from the sergeant of arms to a President that rats on you,” Steban said.

For the Erdeljacs, there are hundreds of ways Jake will be remembered, but they will continue to honor Jake by how he lived.

”That was his dream — his dream home and his dream activity and his dream girl; I just wanted the man in the jumpsuit to know he didn’t know Jake,” Erdeljac said.

The families organized a memorial ride for Jake and Mara on June 18, from Z & M Harley Davidson in Greensburg.

>>>TIMELINE: Following suspect Victor Steban’s crime spree across Westmoreland County that left 2 dead<<<