Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - October 5, 2000, Altoona, Pennsylvania
Sports: After win, Kordell will return to benchNation: Court buys time for Yugoslavian leader CI
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2000 newsstand© Copyright 2000
Jury takes one hour to convict Sankey■ Centre man found guilty of first-degree murder, aggravated assault and criminal trespass.
By Jeff Corcino For the Mirror CLEARFIELD — Daniel Sankey of Bellefonte will face life in prison after being convicted Wednesday for the brutal murder of a Clearfield County man.
The Clearfield County jury took one hour and IO minutes to convict Sankey on all three charges of first-degree murder, aggravated assault and criminal trespass.
Family and friends of the victim, Orvis Clark, burst into tears upon hearing the verdict, but Sankey remained stoic and sat motionless.
“He is a cold-blooded killer, pure and simple,” Clearfield County assistant district attorney William Shaw said. “The entire time we were with him, he never once showed any signs of remorse.”
Late in the evening Nov. 3, Sankey, 57, ambushed Clark, 57, of Karthus Township in Clark’s home. Sankey struck Clark in the head with a nightstick and proceeded to stab and cut him with a knife until he was dead, according to Shaw.
Shaw said Sankey was obsessed with his ex girlfriend Dianne Heverly and set out to kill Clark after she began dating him.
Clark suffered 71 stab wounds and cuts, including eight stab wounds to his chest and ll to his back. Clark received damage to many of his vital organs and arteries, including his heart, lungs, liver, aorta, vena cava and diaphragm. He also suffered numerous other cuts and stab wounds on his face, arms, legs and shoulders, including a six-inch long cut to his neck.
Sankey’s lawyer, Thomas Dickey of Altoona, said the sheer number of wounds Clark received, made the case difficult to defend, but said he plans to appeal the verdict. Dickey twice moved for a mistrial on the grounds that Judge John Reilly’s instructions to the jury were incorrect and that Shaw made improper statements in front of the jury.
Shaw said he is confident the verdict will stand, saying it was a pretty clean trial.
However, Sankey’s defense made a surprising decision by not having Sankey take the witness stand to defend himself.
“I was shocked,” Shaw said.
“I already have done too much talking," Sankey said to Reilly.
Sankey admitted to killing Clark, claiming it was self-defense but changed his story three times to police. “Yes, somebody did defend themselves that night, but it was Mr. Clark who was doing the defending not the defendant,” Shaw said in his closing arguments.
Please see Convtct/Page A12
PUTTIN’ ON THE RITZ
Mirror photo by Kelly Bennett
Gov. Tom Ridge talks about the artists and patrons Wednesday on the stage of the Mishler Theatre during the Governor s Awards for the Arts. The annual awards show is held in a new city each year.
Governor’s Awards for the Arts takes stage in Altoona
By MIA ROBART Staff Writer
Recipient of the 2000 Artist of the Year Award, LaVaughn Robinson, who has shared the stage with Cab Calloway, Tommy Dorsey, Billie Holiday and Charlie Parker, graced the stage of the Mishler Theatre with his street-style tap dancing instead of giving a speech after receiving his award.
Robinson, along with other honorary artists, called the Mishler Theatre home Wednesday evening for the annual Govenor’s Awards for the Arts.
Six years ago, Gov. Tom Ridge decided that the Govenor’s Awards for the Arts should take place in a new city each year — and this year, Altoona was chosen.
Gov. Ridge emphasized at this year’s event how important it is to make the arts available to all people
in Pennsylvania, especially in our schools. Since taking office in 1995, Gov. Ridge successfully has proposed increases in state arts funding in each year of his administration.
Susan Kemenyffy, chair for the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, is happy funding keeps coming through.
“Access to the arts should not be an accident of geography,” she said. “It teaches them discipline, tenacity, work ethic and that defeat is not the end, it is only a means to solving problems.”
Many people agreed that the Mishler lent the evening the grandeur it deserved.
“I cannot imagine there being a more beautiful theater anywhere on planet earth,” said Paul Winter an Altoona native and the master of ceremonies.
Please see Awards/Page A5Mishler Theatre proves to be big star of the night
By Kevin OTT
When Gov. Tom Ridge walked onto the stage of the Mishler Theatre with the artists and philanthropists at the Governor’s Awards for the Arts Wednesday night, everyone in the audience stood and applauded.
When everyone sat down, all the chairs in the theater squeaked in unison.
A giggle ran through the crowd.
Such is the charm of the Mishler.
Hundreds of art connoisseurs from all over the world gathered at the Mishler Wednesday to pay tribute to Pennsylvania’s contribution to world of the aesthetic. Afterwards, they glided through the streets of downtown and mingled in the halls of the art museum.
But the star was the Mishler.
Before the show, Ridge spent time in the uppermost of the theater’s two
balconies, gazing at the ceiling and admiring. Paul Winter, the local Grammy-winning musician who emceed the event, reminisced about spending his youth in that upper balcony eating peanuts and watching the shows.
Such is the charm of the Mishler.
“Just looking at the outside, it takes you back in time," said Rana Bonano, a dance student at the Pennsylvania University of the Arts in Philadelphia. She and her friend Kimberly White study under LaVaughn Robinson, one of the award winners at the event.
The two dancers spent part of the evening gazing at the ceiling, admiring. They both loved the ceiling.
Robinson himself preferred the ceiling to the floor. At the reception after the ceremony, he munched fruit and talked about the Mishler.
Please see Mishler/Page A5
Pa. court reviewing Callant demeanor
■ Complaint based on judge’s remarks at PFA hearing.
By Phil Ray
Staff writer Blair County Judge Norman D. Callan became angry during a pro-tection-from-abuse hearing more than two years ago when an Altoona woman said she wanted to withdraw charges against her husband, according to charges filed before the state’s Court of Judicial Discipline.
Now the judge may have to go before the five-member board to face
charges that he violated a Canon of the Code of Judicial Conduct.
Callan is charged with a violation of Canon 3A(3) of the Code of Judicial Conduct which states: “A judge should be patient, dignified and courteous to litigants, jurors, witnesses, lawyers and others with whom he deals in his official capacity, and should require similar conduct of lawyers, and of his staff, court officials, and others subject to his direction and control.”
According to Wanda Sweigart, the director of the state’s Court of Judicial Discipline, a conference was held a week ago to discuss the Callan case.
Please see Complaint/Page A12
WHISTLING DIXIE J}
The Associated Press
Fhe Dixie Chicks accept the award for vocal group of the year, one of four awards they grabbed Wednesday night at The Country Music Awards. I See story Page DI
House OKs bill to create PIAA oversight panel
By Christopher Newton The Associated Press
HARRISBURG — The bureaucracy responsible for athletic competitions involving 250,000 school-age athletes in Pennsylvania could be abolished in three years if officials fail to make satisfactory reforms, under a bill endorsed Wednesday by the House Education Committee.
The bill would create a 17-member committee comprising teachers, coaches and legislators to oversee the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association.
The pAnel would be empowered to strip the PIAA of its authority after a three-year grace period if it decides the association is being
operated inefficiently or unfairly. The committee would be selected by House and Senate legislators, the governor, education officials, coaches and athletic officials.
The bill originally would have allowed for the panel to remove authority from the organization at any time. The three-year period was added to the bill Wednesday by the House committee, but the amended bill has yet to be approved by the full House or Senate.
Still, proponents of the revision, which culminates weeks of negotiations between legislators and members of the sports regulatory organization, were optimistic that it represents a breakthrough.
Please see PIAA/Page AIQ
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