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WTAE Pittsburgh Action News 4
Updated: 9:41 PM EDT Jul 2, 2020
Douglas Novak, 40, pleads guilty but mentally ill Friday
Douglas Novak, 40, entered multiple pleas of guilty but mentally ill in November 2019 in connection with the death of his father, 92-year-old Frank Novak.
Douglas Novak was charged with brutally beating his father to death in December 2017, before lighting his father’s home on fire. Novak pleaded guilty but mentally ill to third-degree murder, as well as multiple arson charges.
On July 2, Novak was sentenced to 10-30 years in prison.
Novak told the judge that he has been receiving treatment for mental health issues since the age of 21. Novak’s attorney said there was a mistake in his medication in the time leading up to the murder that caused Novak to lose control.
“My client’s father was a World War II veteran and died a horrific death at his son’s hands because of mental health,” attorney Brian Aston said.
Aston said Novak received treatment at Torrence State Hospital and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and schizoaffective disorder. When Novak was first taken to jail, Aston said officials had to declare a medical emergency in order to get Novak treatment.
“At the time, it took nine sheriff’s deputies and guards to get him into the vehicle, and get over there (to the hospital), and today, he’s a model inmate and a prison worker,” Aston said. “That’s the difference that the treatment and the proper medication has made for him.”
Third-degree murder carries a maximum sentence of 20 to 40 years in prison. A presentencing evaluation will be done on Novak before a formal sentencing is scheduled.