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Family: Suspect in deadly shooting has mental illness, was being mentored by 90-year-old victim

PITTSBURGH — The man charged with shooting a 90-year-old man in the head near a local cemetery and stealing his ring knew him, according to the suspect’s family.

Anthony Miller, 27, was arrested and charged with homicide and robbery after Samuel Rende, 90, was shot and killed while sitting in his pickup truck near Calvary Cemetery in Greenfield last week.

Miller’s mother and sister told Channel 11 there’s no doubt he killed Rende, but they want people to know Miller has a mental illness and wasn’t on medication at the time.

They said they’ve seen the “darkness” in his eyes when he doesn’t take his medication.

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But that’s not all. Miller’s family said he knew Rende. They told Channel 11 Rende was mentoring Miller and helping him get back on his feet.

“I do know Tony considered him a friend, someone he looked up to,” said Jacqueline Kurta, Miller’s mother.

Court documents paint a clearer picture of Rende as well. He was charged with homicide and criminal conspiracy for the 1978 contract killing of Norman McGregor.

Prosecutors said Rende and at least six others were accomplices. Nearly a decade later, charges against Rende were dropped.

However, Kurta told Channel 11 the victim’s past has nothing to do with her son’s motive. Instead, she believes he just wanted to rob Rende for some quick cash.