President Judge Fredric J. Ammerman set bail at $1 million monetary on William Troy Shugarts, 49, of Troutville, who allegedly held a gun to a female victim’s head.
Shugarts is charged with charged with burglary — overnight accommodations; person present, bodily injury crime, a felony of the first degree; two counts of criminal attempt –aggravated assault – attempts to cause or causes bodily injury with a deadly weapon, felonies of the second degree; terroristic threats that caused a serious public inconvenience, a felony of the third degree; two misdemeanor (first degree) counts of making terroristic threats with the intent to terrorize another; a misdemeanor count (first degree) a person not to possess/use firearms – protection from abuse (PFA) party; two misdemeanor (second degree) counts of simple assault; and two misdemeanor counts (second degree) of false imprisonment.
Ammerman also sentenced Shugarts to serve six months in the Clearfield County Jail for indirect criminal contempt for violating a Protection From Abuse order.
When Shugarts was arraigned on Sept.23, Magisterial District Judge Pat Ford denied bail to Shugarts.
Shugart’s attorney, Joshua Maines, filed a motion to set bail and yesterday at Motions Court Maines asked Ammerman to set bail in the $100,000 range.
Ammerman said by law he has to set bail unless it is a murder case. First Assistant District Attorney Leanne Nedza said Shugarts poses an extreme risk to the community and himself if he is released and asked bail to be set at $1 million monetary. She said as a former state trooper, Shugarts has knowledge of the criminal justice system, has significant financial resources and has threatened to kill beat and kill the victim several times and has threatened to kill himself.
Maines argued that $1 million bail was unreasonable. He said Shugarts has been out of work for two months and doubts that Shugarts would even be able to post $100,000 monetary bail even if he used a bail bondsman.
The victim spoke at the hearing and said she she fears Shugarts would kill her if released and asked him to give him the maximum bail possible.
“Our safety depends on it,” the victim said.
She said on multiple occasions Shugarts threatened to kill her if she ever left him and was threatened with a gun at least five times.
Ammerman said he set bail at $1 million because of the high probability that Shugarts would commit crimes against the public if he were set free.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, on Sept. 23, DuBois-based state police responded to a report of a PFA violation at a residence on Main Street in Troutville where Shugarts allegedly entered the residence of a woman and held her and another individual at gunpoint.
Troopers interviewed the two female victims. The first victim said Shugarts entered the home, pushed her through the doorway and forced her against the wall and then down the hallway into the bedroom. Once seated on the bed next to Shugarts, she said she could feel a hard object along his side and could smell what she believed to be alcohol on his breath, the affidavit said.
When Shugarts stood up, the woman said she raised the side of his shirt and saw a firearm in his waistband, the affidavit said. She reportedly expressed deep concern for her safety and the safety of another person in the house.
At one point, Shugarts allegedly removed the firearm from his waistband and held it to his head. The woman stated that she thought Shugarts was going to shoot her, the affidavit said. She said she agreed to have a conversation with Shugarts in efforts to de-escalate the situation, if he unloaded and relinquished possession of the firearm. She said Shugarts complied and set the firearm down on the kitchen counter. The woman told the police that she was in fear of losing her life and was unable to leave the residence under her own free will, the affidavit said.
The second victim said she didn’t see Shugarts enter the house but reportedly heard the other victim screaming upstairs. She reported the same to police as the first victim.
The second victim reportedly texted friends to call 911 while Shugarts and the woman talked on the couch.
Troopers interviewed Shugarts at the barracks. Shugarts said he had intended to kill himself but then decided against it. Shugarts stated that the woman agreed to go with him to the hospital to get mental health help. He said that he was never going to hurt the woman or the other individual at the house. He told the police he had a gun to go kill himself. He said that after the woman agreed to help him go to the hospital, he unloaded it and put it on the table and that was the last he saw of the gun, the affidavit said.
The police asked Shugarts if he threatened the woman or the other individual at the house and he reportedly said no. He was asked if he put a gun to either of their heads and he said no. He was asked where he got the gun and he said he did not remember. The police said they ran the gun and it came back registered to a relative of Shugarts. When asked if the relative gave him the gun, Shugarts reportedly said no, “(He/she) probably doesn’t even know it is missing.” When asked if he took the gun without permission, Shugarts reportedly said yes.
In a separate case, Shugarts was also charged by state police Sept. 1 with misdemeanor counts of making terroristic threats and simple assault and a summary charge of harassment. The affidavit stated that he and a woman had a verbal fight that turned physical on Aug. 29. The victim reported that Shugarts allegedly pushed, shoved, held her against her will and wrapped his arms around her chest squeezing her.
The victim also told the police that Shugarts said he wanted to beat her up. He then allegedly opened the dresser drawer that contained a gun. He reportedly looked at the victim and asked her which one. During the altercation, the victim reportedly obtained a bruise.