Altoona Mirror, July 7, 2001 : Front Page

Publication: Altoona Mirror July 7, 2001

Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - July 7, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania t Spotlight Up in the air at Bedford County ultralight plane fly-in / A4Altoona iUtrror © Copyright 2001 SATURDAY, JULY 7, 2001 500 newsstand Court outburst lands city man in hotter water Victor Thomas (right) launched into a obscenity-laced tirade Friday against Judge Norman Callan and then scuffled with sheriff's deputies after he was found in contempt of court. By Phil Ray Staff Writer HOLLIDAYSBURG — An Altoona man in Blair County Prison awaiting trial on drug charges and threats to kill his estranged girlfriend added to his legal problems Friday when he shouted at a judge and wrestled with sheriffs deputies. Victor Thomas of Altoona complained Friday that when he is in court, he is not allowed to talk. Thomas then did a lot of talking to Judge Norman D. Callan, trying to outshout the judge and launching an obscenity-laced diatribe against the judge, his lawyers and others. He went even further after Callan ordered him to serve six months for contempt of court. Thomas got into a brawl with sheriff’s deputies—a male and two females. His attack will result in additional charges against him. Thomas was objecting to deputies’ attempts to cuff his hands behind him as they prepared to transport him to the Blair County Prison. Thomas attacked a male deputy, who fell backward into several chairs along the side of Callan's courtroom. As the chairs overturned and scattered in several directions, Thomas got on top of the deputy. The deputies tried to calm Thomas, who continued to rant, and were able to bring him back to his feet, but the brawl continued. The three deputies were joined in the fray by former Altoona police officer Thomas Shea, who serves in the court administrator’s office. The court officers attempted to calm Thomas, telling him repeatedly not to make things worse for himself. Thomas’ wife and sister, who were in the courtroom for the hearing before Callan, also uttered pleas of restraint to him. Despite the requests to calm down, Thomas continued to shove the deputies. Please see Outburst/Page A9MAKING QUITE A SPLASH Shooter may get less time r he new 21-foot water slide at Juniata s Memorial Park has been a real hit with pool visitors. According to Central Blair Rec Commission Director John Little, the number of visitors this year has doubled from last year. “The slide has had a very positive impact on attendance at the pool, Little said of the slide, which was installed in the spring. “A good day last year we would have 300people, and this year we have in excess of 600 coming to the pool, and that’s a result of this water slide. ” The water slide was purchased and installed with a $117,000 price tag. Memorial Pool is open daily from noon to 7 p.m. Above: Elizabeth Gardner, 6, gets help from her mom, Mary, getting back to the pool edge Friday. ■ State court vacates hefty sentence for man who fired ll bullets into Cove home. By Phil Ray Staff Writer A long prison sentence imposed on a Martinsburg man who shot into a house two years ago and nar rawly missed two small children has been vacated by the state Superior Court, which said the sentencing judge focused too much on the crime and not enough on the good aspects of the man’s character. Judge Norman D. Callan must resentence Jacob A. Ritchey, 46, who is in the second year of a IO- to 20-year state prison sentence. Blair County District Attorney Dave Gorman said he will ask the judge to reimpose the IO- to 20-year sentence on Ritchey after considering other aspects of the incident, including Ritchey’s background. Ritchey’s attorney was not available for comment Friday. The Superior Court, a day after upholding a Callan sentence of 18 to 49 years in a major drug case, criticized the judge for not ordering a presentence investigation into Ritchey’s background that would provide additional insight for the judge prior to sentencing. Callan said he didn’t order a presentence investigation because Ritchey waived the preparation of the report. On Friday, he tersely ordered the report be done. The state parole and probation office will have 60 days to prepare it. Gorman said he could appeal the Superior Court’s decision but has decided not to. Taking the case to the Supreme Court would mean a year’s delay, during which time Ritchey could be freed from prison on bail, he said. In March 2000, Callan originally sentenced Ritchey, noting the vicious nature of the attack on a private home. At 2:30 a.m. July 7, 1999, police said Ritchey opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle from his truck parked along the side of the road near Roaring Spring, sending at least ll bullets streaking into the home, blowing apart walls and furniture. Please see Shooter/Page A93 killed in Pa. by fireworks made at home From Mirror staff and wire reports The tragic death of a Delaware boy in Blair County was not the only fireworks-related death over the hol-iday. Another person was severely injured by an exploding homemade cannon and a third man was killed using a homemade fireworks launcher. An Independence Day celebration in Adams County turned tragic Wednesday when Andrew P. Shull, 22, of Arendtsville was killed and a 7-year-old boy was severely injured at a picnic, state police said. Picnic-goers in Butler Township, north of Gettysburg, were setting off a cannon when it exploded sending metal fragments into the air, which struck the two. Shull, a mechanic for Dal-Tile Corp. in Gettysburg, was pronounced dead at the scene, and the boy was taken to York Hospital, police said. Hospital officials would not provide his name or condition Thursday. Please see Killed/Page A9IN SPORTS Ti , — #**' P Me *IL ''J**'—...... «It Murder victim’s friend charged with threats over media coverage NASCAR fans pass a large No. 3 Friday on the side of the track where Dale Earnhardt was killed at the Daytona International Speedway. Safety issues are still up to drivers, but since Earnhardt's death, they are taking stronger efforts toward safety.    PAGE Bl Race Day: Sterling Marlin wins poll for tonight's Pepsi 400 NASCAR race.    PAGE    B6 From Mirror staff reports A friend of murder victim Randall Buchanan is charged with threatening to shoot another man who he felt tarnished his name in media coverage of the Buchanan homicide, according to court papers. Johnathan Healy is charged with making terroristic threats, harassment and criminal trespass after threatening employees at Juniata’s Memorial Pool June 26. Police said the incident capped a series of run-ins at the pool this summer involving Healy. Healy, 36, of 815 N. Second St., Juniata, apparently was upset by an Altoona Mirror story that mentioned a fight that occurred two days before Buchanan was killed. Buchanan was found beaten to death June 21 in his home in Juniata. No arrests have been made in connection with his murder. In the story in question, Buchanan’s neighbors told a Mirror reporter that Buchanan was 111 shoot you if you give me a bad name. There will be trouble if you make my name bad. police affidavit involved in a June 19 fight at the pool. But pool employees told the Mirror that Buchanan was at the pool that day, but it was a friend of Buchanan’s who was involved in the fight. The Mirror story did not name Healy as that friend. According to an affidavit filed by Altoona police, Healy was involved in a fight June 14 at the pool. He visited the pool again June 19 and was warned that he was banned because employees would tolerate no more fights. Police again were called to the pool at North 12th Avenue and Park Boulevard June 26 when the pool manager alleged Healy wa^. making threats to him. The manager said Healy, who is deaf like Buchanan, parked his car that morning while employees were cleaning the pool and summoned him over to the fence by using hand motions. Another employee accompanied the manager to talk with Healy, the manager told police. Healy allegedly told the manager he read the newspaper and thought he was defamed. Healy allegedly threatened, ‘Til shoot you if you give me a bad name. There will be trouble if you make my name bad,” according to the affidavit. Please see Threats/Page A9 DELIVERY Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480 7    22910    00050    -v sit BIO FOUR 2    9    7    1 I Lottery numbers, A2 WEATHER Partly sunny, 78° ■ Forecast, A2 H<jfT4Ds)pm I I WF We're white-hot! Altoona mirror [the great combination! Call us today...Make money today. THE GREATCOATBINATION of MIRROR CLASSIFIEDS and lot’-ADS Phone (814) 946-7422 or fax us at (814) 946-7547 □ LOCAL Q NATION Business A7 Classifieds C3-12 Movies A9 Obituaries A11 ElUFE Opinion A8 0 SPORTS Comics D5 Community news D2 Local B4 Puzzles D4 Scoreboard B5 X Television D4 INSIDENATION President Bush to classify fetus as ‘unborn child.’ PAGE Cl ;

  • Andrew P. Shull
  • Dale Earnhardt
  • Dave Gorman
  • Elizabeth Gardner
  • Jacob A. Ritchey
  • John Little
  • Johnathan Healy
  • Norman Callan
  • Norman D. Callan
  • Randall Buchanan
  • Thomas Shea
  • Victor Thomas

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Publication: Altoona Mirror

Location: Altoona, Pennsylvania

Issue Date: July 7, 2001

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