100 WVIA Way
Pittston, PA 18640

Phone: 570-826-6144
Fax: 570-655-1180

Copyright © 2024 WVIA, all rights reserved. WVIA is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Robert Baron's family sues convicted killer Schuback for $1M over Old Forge man's slaying

Old Forge restaurateur Robert Baron went missing in 2017, and his remains were not located until March 2017. A murder trial for the man accused in his death, Justin Schuback, is underway in Lackawanna County Court.
Finding Robert Baron Facebook page
Old Forge restaurateur Robert Baron went missing in 2017, and his remains were not located until March 2017. Baron's estate is suing Justin Schuback, the man found guilty in Baron's killing, seeking $1 million.

Robert Baron's family seeks $1 million from his convicted killer.

A Lackawanna County jury on May 15 found Justin Schuback guilty of first-degree murder, burglary and robbery in the 2017 killing of Baron inside his Old Forge business, Gigharelli’s Pizza.

Justin Schuback
Justin Schuback

A wrongful death civil suit was filed May 24 in county court by Baron's daughter, Brittany Baron, acting as administrator of his estate without an attorney.

The suit asks for liens to be placed on two properties owned by Schuback to prevent them from being transferred or sold before the suit is adjudicated: His home at 3 Foundry St., Old Forge, and 1.09 acres of land on Miller Street in the borough.

County property and deed records appear to indicate that the properties are one and the same: A single-family home on 1.09 acres, which was transferred to Schuback by his mother in 2021, the summer before her death.

That home is a short distance from Pagnotti Park and the densely wooded area where Baron's skeletal remains were discovered in early 2023. It's also where Schuback was arrested in March of that year.

Prosecutors said Schuback, 38, killed Baron, robbed his business and disposed of his body on the night of Jan. 25-26, 2017.

According to evidence presented at Schuback's trial last month, cell tower data showed that his cell phone was stationary in the woods for two separate stretches of time on the morning of Jan. 26, 2017. Prosecutors say Schuback was disposing of Baron's body there at that time.

"The loss of Robert Baron, in the manner inflicted by the defendant, caused tremendous emotional stress on Robert's children and wife," the suit states, adding that all of them are beneficiaries of the estate and have suffered "financial distress and loss" as a result.

The trial began May 6. The prosecution rested the following Monday, May 13. Schuback did not take the stand and no defense witnesses were called. Jurors found Schuback guilty after deliberating for about 10 hours over two days.

Schuback’s first-degree murder conviction carries an automatic life sentence, but Judge Terrence Nealon will need to hand down separate sentences for the burglary and robbery charges. That will take place within 90 days of the verdict, once a pre-sentence investigation report is complete. As of Tuesday no date had been set, court officials said.

Roger DuPuis joins WVIA News from the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader. His 24 years of experience in journalism, as both a reporter and editor, included several years at The Scranton Times-Tribune. His beat assignments have ranged from breaking news, local government and politics, to business, healthcare, and transportation. He has a lifelong interest in urban transit, particularly light rail, and authored a book about Philadelphia's trolley system.

You can email Roger at rogerdupuis@wvia.org
Related Stories