Houtzdale man bound over on assault charges|
Thursday, August 30, 2012
By Jeff Corcino Staff Writer
A Houtzdale man accused of illegally entering a woman's home and beating a man she was with as he watched a baseball game on television had all charges bound over for court following a preliminary hearing before Magisterial District Judge Richard Ireland at yesterday's session of Centralized Court held at the Clearfield County Jail.
Corey D. Harris, 35, of Houtzdale is charged with burglary, simple assault, harassment, criminal mischief, and criminal trespass.
A Houtzdale woman testified on the evening of July 14, she invited a friend over to watch the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball game. At approximately 9 p.m. while they were sitting on the couch watching the game, the door suddenly flew open; Harris quickly came inside and immediately went over to the man and started punching him in the head and face. The woman said her friend didn't even have a chance to stand up.
The Progress does not identify victims of domestic violence.
She testified she told Harris to leave and was calling the police. But Harris replied by saying "Well I guess I will make it worth it," and continued beating the man in the head and face.
She tried pushing Harris away from him but said he pushed her to the ground. She said she got up and continued to push him away until he eventually left. She said the incident lasted about five minutes.
As a result she said her friend had bruises on his eyes, face, head and the back of his hands and said the white part of one eye was all red. She also said a coffee table was broken in the attack.
She said they called the police and the state police arrived about an hour later.
When asked by assistant district attorney Josh Maines if the door was locked, she said it was but it must not of been latched because the door wasn't broken despite Harris violently opening the door.
She said about two weeks ago, Harris sent her a text message asking her to call him; she did and said Harris asked her to drop the charges. He said he really didn't hurt her friend and "only roughed him up a little." He told her he was being charged with burglary and if convicted, he would go to jail and would lose his job. She said she refused.
The male victim also testified and gave a similar account as the woman. He said he arrived at about 8 p.m. He said he does not know for sure, but said the game was in the third or fourth inning when he arrived and the game had started at 7:05 p.m.
He said he had a couple of beers and about a half an hour after he arrived the door suddenly burst open. Harris entered and immediately began punching him in the head and face.
He said he was taken by surprise by the attack and didn't have a chance to stand up.
He also said when Harris was told by the woman to leave and she said she was calling the police. But Harris replied by saying "Well I might as well make it worth my while," and continued punching him about the head and face.
Eventually the woman was able to push him out the door and Harris left.
As a result the alleged victim said he had bruises about his head and face and hands. He said the bruises on his hands were the result of him trying to block Harris's blows. He said he did not seek medical treatment for his injuries.
In the affidavit of probable cause, the woman told police she had been Harris's girlfriend for the last five years and had broken it off with him about a month before the incident.
Trooper Michael Berta also testified for the prosecution. He testified that on July 14 he responded to a reported incident of domestic violence in Houtzdale. He said he arrived at the residence at about 9:30 p.m. and said he observed the male's injuries and took a statement from the woman.
Under cross-examination by Harris's attorney Michael Pentz, Berta said the woman's testimony on the stand on the order of the events was slightly different than what she told him on the scene.
Berta said the woman told him that when Harris entered the room she immediately told him to leave and was calling the police. Harris then replied he might as well make it worth his while and began beating the male victim.
During his closing arguments, Pentz argued that the woman's original story she told police was correct, and asked that the burglary charge be dropped because he did not intend to commit a crime when he entered the home. But Ireland refused and bound over all charges and set bail at $50,000 unsecured.
In other cases, a Summerville man accused of stealing two kayaks, a push mower and other items waived his right to a preliminary hearing before Magisterial District Judge James Hawkins.
Ruston Kinnan, 30, is facing charges in three separate cases; in the first case he is charged with theft by unlawful taking, and receiving stolen property. In the second he is charged with burglary, criminal trespass, theft by unlawful taking and receiving stolen property. In the third case he is charged with burglary, theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property and criminal trespass.
According to the affidavits of probable cause, on June 13, 2011, a victim reported his Old Town kayak had been stolen from his property. On May 5, 2012, the victim's kayak was located on Kinnan's property. Kinnan's mother told police that her son had bought the kayak from someone. Police interviewed Kinnan and he admitted to stealing the kayak and said he took another kayak from a different victim as well and gave police a written statement to the police.
On June 13, 2011, Dennis L Patrick reported to the Punxsutawney based state police that his garage had been burglarized and a push mower, weed trimmer, golf bag with clubs and assorted accessories were taken from the property.
Police learned that Kinnan could be in possession of the property and searched his residence on May 2, 2012. The alleged victim identified the items a few days later.
On July 18, 2011 an alleged victim reported her red kayak had been stolen from her barn. Police located the kayak on Kinnan's property on May 1.
Kinnan is incarcerated in lieu of $25,000 straight bail on each of the three charges. Kinnan also told Judge Hawkins he is currently serving a 3-7 year sentence in Indiana County for separate offenses.