Two men have been charged with possessing sharpened objects while they were inmates at McKean County Jail.
Both men were in jail awaiting trials for separate 2020 stabbing incidents when jail staff found them to be in possession of the alleged homemade weapons.
Christopher Link, 30, and Matthew Howard, 26, were arraigned Tuesday before District Judge William Todd on charges of possession of an offensive weapon and weapons or implements for escape, both first-degree misdemeanors.
According to the criminal complaint, on March 16, corrections officers found the weapons during a search conducted in Cell Block A.
A strip search of Howard revealed that he had a silver rod that was sharpened to a point at the tip, wrapped with gauze and secured with Band-Aids at the other end, the complaint stated.
Officers allegedly found several items in Link’s cell.
According to the complaint, inside a tote there was a 4-inch long metal piece attached to one end of a wooden handle that has white material wrapped around it. The item was originally a squeegee for cleaning the shower area. In Link’s bedding, officers found a metal rod sharpened to a point with gauze wrapped around the opposite end as a handle. Officers also found a metal rod bent at one end, a black piece of curved plastic with white tape around it and a single Phillips head screw in Link’s cell.
Bail was set at $2,000 each in the new cases, and preliminary hearings are set for April 19.
Regarding the reason they were incarcerated on March 16, both men are facing felony aggravated assault charges from separate alleged stabbings in summer 2020, and Link faces an additional case for allegations that he fled from police.
Link is accused of assaulting a female on July 25 and again on July 28, using a knife both times.
According to the criminal complaint, on July 25, Link struck a female victim numerous times in the head, face and body, causing serious injury. She had injuries to her right eye socket, left ear, jaw, left rib cage and a laceration on her left wrist from Link cutting her with a knife.
During an argument on July 28, Link stabbed the female twice in the upper right torso, high in the rib cage, the complaint alleged.
The woman was in UPMC Hamot, Erie, in critical condition, at the time Link was charged, the complaint stated.
Foster Township Police filed a charge of flight to avoid apprehension against Link for allegations on July 28. He was taken into custody July 31.
Meanwhile, Howard is accused of stabbing a man on Aug. 24.
The criminal complaint alleges that Howard pulled out a knife during an argument and told the victim that if he got any closer he would stab him and kill him. Howard threw a beverage can as a distraction, then allegedly lunged forward and stabbed the man in the neck.
The alleged victim went to Erie County Medical Center trauma center for treatment. The neck wound was very close to the esophagus and artery, the complaint stated.
Trials in McKean County have been put on hold due to the pandemic but are set to resume this month. No trial date is set for either stabbing case. Link has a motions hearing on May 4.