The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

October 15, 2012

Key witness, behind bars, a no-show for hearing

Kathy Mellott

HASTINGS — Monday’s long-delayed preliminary hearing for the former Cherry Tree man charged in the 2010 death of Arthur “Arch” Henry was continued for three weeks after problems surfaced with a key witness for the prosecution.

Tracy Bennett, the woman police say drove accused murderer Sherman Holes to Henry’s home on the night of June 30, 2010, was subpoenaed for the hearing, but it was not until Monday that authorities realized she is an inmate at the Clearfield County Jail and had not received the subpoena.

“She’s been cooperative all the time,” said First Assistant District Attorney Heath Long.

The hearing was rescheduled for 8:30 a.m. Nov. 5 at the Hastings office of District Judge Michael Zungali.

Holes, 42, was charged in August with the death of the 79-year-old former bar owner at his Northern Cambria home.

Police say Holes went to the 8th Street home of Henry, who was an alleged drug dealer, to collect money owed him.

They maintain the two got into an argument and Holes struck Henry in the head with a two-by-four.

The victim died three days later at Memorial Medical Center in Johnstown of head injuries received in the attack.

Holes, charged with homicide, aggravated assault and robbery, was originally identified as a suspect in July 2010 but was not charged until three months ago after the district attorney’s office used a relatively new method of DNA testing.

While no charges have been filed against Bennett, police say she drove Holes to Henry’s house and waited outside.

Her testimony is needed to place Holes at the scene on the night of the attack, Assistant District Attorney Scott Lilly said.

Bennett reportedly told authorities that she heard sounds of an argument coming from Henry’s mobile home and thought she heard someone hitting someone.