Tri County Report For July 11th, 2017

Additonal robbery charges have been filed against two Mercer County men who are currently in the Lawrence County Jail. 16 year old Samuel Marc Clark of Masury, who will be tried as an adult, along with 18 year old Nathan Uriah Kaster were charged in connection with the robbery, reported around 1 a.m. July 4 near a West Washington Street pizza shop. The two have been in the Lawrence County Jail since Friday after also having allegedly robbed a family during a home invasion at an apartment on Grant Street on Thursday. According to the New Castle News bond was set at 20 thousand dollars for both men.

For the second straight year, Governor Tom Wolf is letting a state budget bill become law without his signature.  The governor is pressing Pennsylvania’s GOP-led legislature to approve a tax package big enough to avoid a credit downgrade.  Yesterday was the tenth day of a budget stalemate between the Democratic governor and the Republican majorities in the House and the Senate.  Questions have arisen about the constitutionality of a budget bill becoming law without a plan to pay for it.

Top House Democrats are reacting to Governor Wolf’s decision to let Pennsylvania’s budget become law without his signature.  Minority Leader Frank Dermody released a statement saying a good bill was passed, but now there has to be a way to pay for it.  Democratic Whip Mike Hanna says there is a need for bipartisanship going forward and said a solution can’t be dictated by one party.  Wolf sent out a statement saying he hopes the parties can work together on a budget solution that sets Pennsylvania on the right path.

State Police in Butler County report a Prospect man was killed in a one vehicle accident yesterday afternoon in Muddy Creek Township.  According to police, 57 year old David Aspinall was southbound on Perry Highway and crossed over in the northbound lane and into a wooded shoulder area striking two trees. Aspinall’s vehicle then traveled down and embankment and overturned. Police said Aspinall was pronounced dead at the scene.

A convicted sex offender is wanted by police for the alleged sexual assault of two autistic boys.  Robert Petrill is a Tier 3 sex offender with offenses that date back to 2000.  The criminal complaint says he was staying at a friend’s home in Greensburg recently when the assault happened.  Police believe Petrill is living in Philadelphia and they’re trying to track him down so they can bring him to Pittsburgh to face sexual assault and corruption of minors charges.

Inside Butler County is reporting about 500 home were without power yesterday afternoon following a round of storms that rolled through the area. Starting around 4 o’clock wires were down in a number of areas. No additonal flooding has been reported as the County continues to cleanup from storms late last week. Over the weekend  many homes and businesses continued to dry out and damage assessments are done.

The Fayette County woman who was found guilty of drowning her two sons is having her sentencing postponed by an Allegheny County judge.  The DA’s office says the change from the 20th of this month to August 9th is due to a scheduling issue.  During a bench trial earlier this year, a Court of Common Pleas judge found Laurel Michelle Schlemmer guilty but mentally ill on two counts of third-degree murder, as well as other charges.  In 2014, Schlemmer drowned her six-year-old and three-year-old sons in a bathtub believing they would be better off in heaven.

The Penn State students facing charges in the death of a Lebanon, New Jersey teen at a fraternity party returned to court for a preliminary hearing.  Prosecutors introduced a text from the house pledge master that said “it’s over” and that he didn’t “want to go to jail”  for it as 19-year-old Timothy Piazza lay dying. The defendants are charged with involuntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, hazing, providing alcohol to minors and tampering with evidence.  It took nearly 12 hours before anyone called to get help for Piazza.  Authorities say Piazza suffered severe head and abdominal injuries before he died.