Fitchburg X-Con Book
Posted in the Fitchburg Forum
#1 Aug 26, 2012
FITCHBURG -- He thought the sight alone of the gun would be enough to scare the man away.
He says he never intended to pull the trigger.
In May 1975, Phil Cebula was a 27-year-old mess of a man.
He drank and took whatever drugs he could he get his hands on, namely marijuana, pills and hallucinogens.
"I didn't care about anybody but the man in the mirror," says Cebula, now 64.
Cebula was raised in the blue-collar steel mill town of Lackawanna, N.Y., where "every dad worked in the plant and every kid had the same toys."
Shortly after graduating from high school, he found himself in the jungles of Vietnam.
When he returned, he married his high school sweetheart, who later left him, taking their 2-year-old daughter.
"I tried to be a good husband, but I wasn't," Cebula said.
He said his lifestyle eventually led him to anger, and to the night he put that gun in his hand.
A neighbor, whom Cebula says he "just couldn't connect with," wasn't well-liked and had raised some suspicion among other members of the neighborhood. Around the time Cebula's home was broken into and some tools and jewelry were stolen, other neighbors told him they had seen this man peeking into his windows and climbing up on his porch when he wasn't around.
One night, Cebula was at a usual haunt, drinking and smoking marijuana, and friends and other patrons told him this man had been harassing others at the bar.
Cebula decided he'd seek him out at his home at about 3 a.m. They got into a scuffle that lasted only five minutes, Cebula told him to stay out of his life and the places he hangs out at, and to stop dropping his name. He returned to his home and sat down to have a beer with a friend.
Awhile later, the neighbor came swinging at him with a belt with a large metal belt buckle. They exchanged angry words as the man drew nearer, and Cebula grabbed his hunting rifle, in an attempt to scare him. He came much closer than Cebula thought he would.
"My thought at that time was he's going to see me with the gun in my hand, he's going to go back home," he said.
But the man continued forward, swinging the buckle. Cebula pulled the trigger.
"I didn't aim the gun. It was in his direction, but I didn't aim at any part of him," Cebula said. "When I shot the gun, he stopped, he looked at me, and he went back in the house, like nothing happened."
Seeing commotion next door, Cebula tried three separate times to call the house, and each time, he was hung up on. Cebula wasn't sure he'd hit the man. Later that morning, he decided to go to the local police department.
"I said,'I'm here because I may have shot somebody,'" he said, and was immediately escorted to a back room where he was interrogated by several officers for about three or four hours.
By noontime, Cebula got up to leave and was told he couldn't, because he was under arrest for first-degree murder.
Read more: http://www.sentinelandenterprise.com/topstory...
#2 Aug 26, 2012
I know Phil and Irene. His is a life that is truly been transformed by God. Unfortunately it is not true of all cons who make that claim. Many claim to be born-again just to gain the favor of others and the favor of the parole board. And we all know of a con here who is not living a changed life, but one of rage and of living off of others.
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