Tri-County Report – March 16, 2016

March 16, 2016

• New Castle City Police have arrested a man following a deadly shooting last night at th Lincoln Terrace Apartments.  According to the City Police’s Facebook page the shooting took place around 11:30.  The victim is said to be 25 year old Demon Higgins of Detroit, Michigan.  Police arrested 46 year old Joseph Cohen of Beaver Falls in connection with the shooting.  Police said Cohen is being charged with criminal homicide and aggrevated assault.  He is currently being held in the Lawrence County Jail.

• A New Castle man was arrested after police say he sexually assaulted a minor. Detectives arrested 34 year old Stephen Plum, after an investigation revealed that Plum provided a juvenile with alcohol and marijuana at a house on Laurel Boulevard and sexually assaulted a juvenile there. During an interrogation, police say Plum admitted to the assault.  Plum faces charges of statutory sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault, corruption of minors and dissemination of explicit sexual material to a minor. He is also charged with possession of child pornography and furnishing alcohol to minors. Plum is being held in the Lawrence County Jail on $100,000 bond.

• State Police in Lawrence County report a one vehicle accident in North Beaver Township.  According to police 29 ea rold Brandon Cramer of Washington Pa., was northbound on Small Ferry Road when he lost control of his semi, traveled across the southbound lane and traveled into a yard causing the truck to roll onto it’s side.  Police said Cramer was not injuried.

• A Butler man faces charges following a domestic dispute early Monday morning.  According to State Police in Butler County, the 47 year old man allegedly struck a 44 year old female with an aluminum baseball bat.  the man is being charged with aggravated and simple assault, terroistic threats and a number of other charges.  He was placed in the Butler County Prison on 30 thousand dollars bond.

• State Supreme Court Justice Michael Eakin is stepping down.  Eakin has admitted to sending and receiving racist and inappropriate emails on state computers.  He was scheduled to go on trial for ethics violations in a few weeks.  Governor Tom Wolf says he will nominate Eakin’s successor “in due time.”  Eakin is the second justice to resign over the email scandal, joining Seamus McCaffery, who stepped down in 2014.

• Three former church leaders are being charged for allegedly covering up child sex abuse in the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese.  Attorney General Kathleen Kane made the announcement yesterday, following a previous grand jury report alleging the three friars allowed a suspected abuser to work with children. The alleged cover-up reportedly resulted in hundreds more allegations of abuse.  The accused abuser, Steven Baker, killed himself several years ago.  All three friars live out of state but will come back to Pennsylvania to face charges.

• Pennsylvania is one of the states with a higher tax rate, according to a study by With one being the lowest tax rate and 51 being the highest, Pennsylvania came in at number 39.  WalletHub’s analysts compared various tax rates among the 50 states and the District of Columbia in terms of the national average consumer’s income and spending habits.

• A man is facing charges for allegedly threatening to kill his wife.  Raymond Burr was arrested last week after the victim called police claiming he had thrown hot coffee on her.  Witnesses at Citizens Bank in Zelienople also claim to have heard him say he was going to beat or kill the victim.  Mrs. Burr told police her husband said she would never see her daughter again if she did not transfer money back.

• A final vote may be taken today on a bill that would legalize medical marijuana in Pennsylvania.  The legislation would allow oil extracted from marijuana plants to be prescribed to people with qualifying conditions like cancer and epilepsy.  Governor Wolf met with supporters in Harrisburg yesterday, saying he’ll sign the bill as soon as it gets to his desk.

• A driver had to be life-flighted after crashing her vehicle in Mercer County. 53 year-old Jodi Moody of Polk was driving on State Route 965 in Worth Township when she lost control of her vehicle and struck a guardrail. According to a police report, the car went airborne. The vehicle rolled over and landed on its roof. First responders had to extricate Moody from the wreckage. She was life-flighted to St. Elizabeth’s in Youngstown with serious injuries. There is no word on her condition. State Police in Mercer County are investigating the crash, but they say speed was not a factor.   •