SMETHPORT — A Bradford man was sentenced recently in McKean County Court for allegedly setting ablaze a residence from which he was being evicted.
Gordon Eschrich, 47, of Bradford, was sentenced to state prison for 18 months to 5 years, with credit for 170 days of time served, on charges of arson and criminal mischief.
According to the criminal complaint, on July 29, 2019, there was a structure fire about 9 a.m. at a house trailer located at 184 Knapps Road in Annin Township. The residence was owned by Maxine Knapp and occupied by Eschrich and his family.
Eschrich told investigators he had been out, and when he returned he saw smoke coming from the kitchen windows and roof vents of the home, the complaint stated. He said he called 911 at 9:05 a.m., and then went in the residence to rescue a litter of kittens from the living room.
However, investigators said he had no visible signs of having been in the burning residence.
Two McKean County Sheriff’s deputies were at the scene to serve an eviction notice on Eschrich. When they arrived, they saw smoke coming from the trailer and Eschrich standing by his car in the driveway, and no one else was around, the complaint alleged.
Evidence showed the origin of the fire to be in a plastic garbage can in the kitchen, that it was intentionally set at 9:04 a.m. — one minute prior to Eschrich’s 911 call to report the fire. Witnesses said Eschrich had threatened to burn the residence down if he were to be evicted, the complaint read.
In other court matters, Jonathan King, 20, of Oil City, was sentenced to 6 to 12 months in jail and 15 months consecutive probation, and to perform 100 hours of community service, on a charge of statutory sexual assault. He is to have no unsupervised contact with anyone under the age of 18.
According to the criminal complaint, on March 15, Port Allegany Borough Police received a report that King had a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl.
The girl told investigators that King knew she was only 14, and that after they had sexual intercourse, he told her that she could not tell anybody because he did not want to go to jail or lose custody of his daughter who he had with another woman in Oil City, the complaint alleged.
The complaint stated that the girl did not report the assault sooner because she was scared of what King would do to her.
William Doran, 40, of Bradford, was sentenced to 6 to 12 months in jail, given credit for 227 days of time served, and was given a consecutive sentence of 30 days to 12 months for charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to deliver methamphetamine and aiding in the commission of a crime.
Doran and Christine Cutlip agreed with Jordan Johnson to deliver 20 to 30 grams of methamphetamine in September 2019.
Joshua Boozer, 35, of Warren, was sentenced to 4 days to 23.5 months in jail, given credit for 1 day of time served, and ordered to perform 5 hours of community service each week for 10 weeks on a charge of theft by failure to make required disposition of funds received.
According to the criminal complaint, Boozer cashed a check for $5,527 given to him as a down payment for work to be performed on a Hamilton Township house, but he failed to perform the work.
Jake Cabisca, 24, of Bradford, was sentenced to 30 days to 6 months incarceration, given credit for 66 days of time served, and was sentenced to 12 months consecutive probation on several charges of defiant trespass and a DUI.
According to the criminal complaints, on Dec. 15 and 27, 2020, he showed up at a residence where he wasn’t permitted to be, the second time with a baseball bat, causing disturbances both times. The DUI case is from an alleged incident Dec. 27 when a police officer saw Cabisca driving, and knew his license was suspended. When the vehicle was stopped, Cabisca showed signs of being under the influence. A blood test showed Cabisca had taken amphetamine, methamphetamine and marijuana, the criminal complaint stated.
Jeffrey Carney, 50, of Hazel Hurst, was sentenced to 140 days to 23 1/2 months incarceration, and given credit for 140 days of time served, on charges of strangulation and terroristic threats.
According to the criminal complaint, on Jan. 13, while Carney was in the commitment process at McKean County Jail, an officer told him he couldn’t bring certain items into the jail. Carney became irate and allegedly attempted to leave, and it took two officers to forcefully restrain him. Both officers suffered injuries, the complaint indicated.
Michael Hulings, 41, of Kane, will serve 12 months of probation and perform 50 hours of community services on a charge of harassment. According to the criminal complaint, the charges were from an alleged domestic incident at his residence.
Walter L. Dennis, 45, of Buffalo, N.Y., was sentenced to 5 to 10 months in McKean County Jail, and given credit for 180 days of time served, on a charge of possession of a controlled substance.
Joshua Hanes, 31, was sentenced to 15 days to 23 months in jail, given credit for 17 days of time served, and ordered to perform 50 hours of community service for resisting arrest for an alleged incident in Smethport on Feb. 25.
Heidi Mays, 28, of New Kensington, was sentenced to 11 days to 18 months, and to perform 100 hours of community service, for endangering the welfare of a child and an accident involving damage.
According to the complaint, at 7:03 p.m. Sept. 29, Lewis Run-based state police received a report of a motor vehicle crash with possible injuries, entrapment and fire near 2669 W. Washington St., Corydon Township. A trooper arrived on scene to find a minivan with New York registration that was off the northbound side of the road with smoke emanating from the front portion. No one was in the minivan or on scene.
Police learned from talking to witnesses that Mays had been driving with a 7-year-old boy and 9-year-old boy as passengers, and the van belonged to someone who was staying at the Willow Bay Campground.
Police searched for Mays and the boys throughout the night and received information about 8:30 a.m. Sept. 30 that Mays was staying at 295 South Ave., Bradford, which is where police found her and the two boys, court records stated.
Mays admitted that she was in a crash, but she told police that she blacked out prior to the crash and did not remember anything until after the crash, the complaint stated. She walked to The Willows and found a stranger for assistance.
According to the complaint, both boys were injured in the crash: the 7-year-old reported having a sore neck, minor headache and seatbelt bruise on his shoulder, and the 9-year-old reported a chipped tooth. Mays had not sought medical care for them.
Court records indicated that Mays had inhaled aerosol cans about one hour before the crash and fell asleep behind the wheel of the van while it was in motion.
Philllip Smith, 33, of Bradford, was sentenced to serve 15 months probation concurrent to a previous case, and to perform 30 hours community service, for a charge of recklessly endangering another person.
Christopher Straneva, 57, of 2 Bushnell St., Bradford, was sentenced to 7 to 18 months incarceration, given credit for 112 days of time served, and ordered to perform 60 hours of community service for a charge of terroristic threats.
According to the criminal complaint, on June 17, Straneva approached a citizen on the street and told her he was going to kill the security guard at the High Rise. He then unzipped his sweatshirt and showed her a knife he had on his waist.
Daniel Brecht, 48, of Smethport, was sentenced to 3 to 18 months and to perform 40 hours community service for simple assault and terroristic threats.
Mathew Louser, 35, of Bradford, was sentenced to 12 to 24 months in jail, given credit for 113 days of time served, and sentenced to 36 months probation, concurrent, for theft from a motor vehicle.
Lynette Deer, 29, of Limestone, N.Y., will serve 12 months probation and perform 50 hours community service for receiving stolen property. She was also ordered to pay $260.22 in restitution to Walmart.
Shannon Hollobaugh, 50, of Bradford, will serve 11 months probation for disorderly conduct. According to the criminal complaint, she had threatened to start a campfire in her living room to burn down the apartment building where she lived.
Shannon Pearce, 36, of Rixford, will serve 12 months probation and perform 50 hours community service for resisting arrest.