Tri County Report For May 10th, 2018

A Butler County registered sex offender is under arrest after allegedly extorting nude photos from two underage girls.  Investigators say Justin Allen threaten to post other nude photos he said he had of the girls if they didn’t send him more pictures before police got involved.  Allen had served time in prison for similar crimes in 2013.

Three suspects are facing attempted homicide and other charges after a shooting Wednesday morning in Sharon.  According to the Sharon Herald, the shooting took place just after 8:30 at a home on Spruce Avenue. Jaaron Hartley of Sharon was shot in the stomach. He was taken to the hospital, where he is now in stable condition. After a chase through Sharon and New Castle, the three suspects  all from New Castle, believed to be involved were arrested. They have been identified as 19-year-old Domonte Bell, 18-year-old Marcel Steward and 22-year-old Delaughn Searcy. They face attempted homicide, aggravated assault and other charges. All three are in the Mercer County Jail on one million dollars bond. The shooting remains under investigation.

A new state proposal could get pot convictions expunged for people with medical conditions.  A Democrat from Montgomery County is proposing Senate Bill 1160, to allow convictions overturned if people can prove they had a medical condition when they were busted for having marijuana.  Medical marijuana has been legal in Pennsylvania since February for people with a least one of 17 conditions, including cancer, glaucoma, seizures and others.  So far, the bill doesn’t have any support from Republicans, who control the state House and Senate.

Pennsylvania elections officials say the candidates in the campaign to be governor have spent more than 20-million dollars this election cycle.  In reports filed this week, Scott Wagner spent five-million in April, while Paul Mango and Laura Ellsworth combined for a total of seven-million spent. Governor Tom Wolf spent one-point-five million despite running uncontested on the Democratic side of the ticket on primary day.

State Police in Lawrence County have charged two men in connection with a burglary at a New Beaver Borough home last month. 28 year old Jason Ferguson and 31 year old Richard Boggs both of New Galilee, are being charged with burglary, theft and criminal mischief. The alleged incident took place at home in the 1900 block of Houston Road on April 20th. Warrants have been issued for their arrests.

According to this week’s Triple-A East Central gas price report Gas prices in Western Pennsylvania are down by about a penny this week to $3.05 per gallon. Prices in New Castle are averaging 3.04 a gallon while drivers in Sharon are paying less at 2.97.  At $2.81, the national gas price average is 45 cents more expensive than a year ago.  However, after weeks of increases, the national average held steady and 19 state averages remained flat or saw decreases.  Prices could continue to rise as the summer driving season approaches, unofficially kicking-off Memorial Day weekend.

A bill to create a panel to investigate the deaths of expectant and new mothers is now law in Pennsylvania.  Governor Tom Wolf signed the measure Wednesday creating a Maternal Mortality Review Committee at the Department of Health.  The 15-member panel will work to determine the cause and a plan to prevent the deaths of women during and up to a year after pregnancy.

State police have arrested a man being called the “ringleader” of a team of thieves.  Cody William Smith is being held in the Westmoreland County Prison on a 50-thousand-dollar bail.  He’s charged in connection to several vehicle thefts in which a group is accused of stealing more than 58-thousand-dollars worth of items.  Two other men were arrested and are all charged with corrupt organization, burglary, theft, receiving stolen property and other crimes.

Investigators say a Greensburg man is accused of raping a woman with the mental capacity of a 12-year-old after he invited her over for dinner.  Police say 69-year-old Ralph Pentek befriended the 23-year-old when she moved into the Hawksworth apartment complex.  Authorities say the woman said Pentek forced her into his bedroom.  After initially denying it, Pentek reportedly admitted to touching the victim’s stomach and legs.