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Caldwell waives hearing
Thursday, September 26, 2013
By Jeff Corcino Staff Writer
A Treasure Lake man accused of entering a home and pointing a gun at a man and a woman inside waived his right to a preliminary hearing before Magisterial District Judge James Hawkins at yesterday's session of centralized court held at the Clearfield County Jail.
Ned Caldwell, 49, is charged with four counts of aggravated assault, two counts of recklessly endangering another person, two counts of terroristic threats, two counts of stalking, two counts of harassment, two counts of criminal mischief, burglary and criminal trespass.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, on Sept. 20, Officer Julie Curry of the Lawrence Township Police Department was dispatched to White Church Road at 8:34 p.m. for a report of a man who had entered a home with a handgun.
Upon arrival she learned that the suspect had fled the scene; three officers from the Clearfield Borough Police Department who also responded to the scene were sent to conduct a search of the area while officer Curry spoke to the victims.
According to the male victim, he was in his home when he heard someone try to enter. He said he believed it was Caldwell, and he and the female victim fled upstairs to the bedroom and locked the door.
The male said Caldwell entered the house and broke down the bedroom door and pointed a .380-caliber handgun at both of them and demanded to speak to the female, from whom he was estranged.
The male victim then struck Caldwell in the head with a baseball bat causing him to drop the gun. The female victim fled the room and Caldwell began striking the male in the head and face with his fists. This is when the neighbor entered and Caldwell left the area.
According to the neighbor, Caldwell had pulled up to the residence and the neighbor asked Caldwell if he could help him with anything.
Caldwell asked the neighbor if the male victim was home, but the neighbor said he did not believe he was. However, Caldwell noticed the victim's vehicle was parked at the residence. The neighbor said Caldwell then drove off but he turned and parked at the victim's residence, went up to the house and went inside. When he saw this, the neighbor said he left and came over to the victim's home.
When he entered the house he was passed by the fleeing female victim who said a man was inside hurting the male victim.
The neighbor said he saw the handgun lying on the floor, picked it up and removed six hollow point bullets from the magazine and checked the chamber to make sure it was empty. He then entered the bedroom and saw Caldwell and the male victim. He said Caldwell was bleeding from the head and Caldwell asked him for his gun back.
The neighbor said he returned the gun and Caldwell left the area in his vehicle.
Caldwell was later located by the Sandy Township Police who also recovered the handgun.
Caldwell was then taken to the DuBois Regional Medical Center for treatment of a head injury.
He is incarcerated in the CCJ in lieu of $100,000 straight bail.
In other cases, three men accused of causing more than $20,000 in damage when they vandalized the Hillcrest Cemetery had their preliminary hearings continued until next week.
Darrin R. Thompson, 26, Heath Hemphill Jr., 20, and Dylan L. Cutler, 18, are each charged with institutional vandalism cemetery etc.; intentional desecration of a public monument, historic lots and burial places; criminal mischief; public drunkenness; and purchase, consumption, possession or transportation of liquor or malt or brewed beverages.
Thompson is also charged with furnishing liquor or malt or brewed beverages to minors.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, on Sept. 5, Sgt. Greg Neeper of the Clearfield Borough Police Department was dispatched to Hillcrest Cemetery for a report of vandalism. According to the cemetery caretaker, Matt Franson, approximately 63 stones were damaged and several veterans' flags were removed from the ground.
There was video surveillance of the three perpetrators that was released to the public and police received a tip that one of the individuals in the video lived at the intersection of Hill and High streets.
Officers Shawn Fye and Nathan Curry were sent to the area to speak with neighbors. While there, Thompson came over to speak with Fye. Thompson matched one of the males in the video and was asked to come to the station to watch a video to see if he could help with identifying the perpetrators.
He agreed, but prior to watching the video, Thompson admitted he was in the cemetery that night but did not commit any destruction, and said Hemphill and Cutler were with him that evening.
At the request of Curry, Cutler came to the station to the station and agreed to speak about the incident.
Initially, Cutler said he did not remember anything about the incident because he was drinking, but when confronted with the information from Thompson, Cutler said they had been drinking near his home in Hillsdale and they had gotten the alcohol from Thompson.
He said they decided to go for a walk and went over to the Salvation Army where they found some glass bottles and broke them. Cutler then said they then went over to the cemetery and began tipping headstones and all three had participated.
After tipping the first few stones Cutler said he went blank and the next thing he remembers is walking home and going to bed when the sun was coming up. He provided a written statement of his account.
Police then contacted Hemphill who was transported to the police station where he agreed to speak with police. He admitted to being involved in the cemetery damage and the damage at the nearby Salvation Army.
He provided a written statement, which said the three of them were drinking and went for a walk. They found some glass vases at the Salvation Army and broke them. They then went over to the cemetery where they "fooled around" with the tombstones and started to tip them.
Franson estimated the damage to the cemetery at $21,100.
According to court documents, Thompson and Hemphill are incarcerated in the CCJ in lieu of $25,000 straight bail. Cutler is incarcerated on $10,000 straight bail.
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