The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

October 1, 2013

What additional charges Moxham home invasion suspect will face

Patrick Buchnowski
pbuchnowski@tribdem.com

— A Johnstown man implicated in a Feb. 24 home invasion in the Moxham section of Johnstown will stand trial on additional charges.

Jason Allen Maines, 35, of South Street, was ordered on Monday to stand trial for conspiring to commit robbery, burglary and aggravated assault following a preliminary hearing before District Judge Leonard Grecek of Roxbury.

City police said Maines, James L. Schroll, 38, and Charles A. Meyer, 32, were involved in an incident where marijuana was mistakenly delivered to a family’s Highland Avenue home. The incident ended with two people shot.

It was the second preliminary hearing for Maines in the case.

Maines was ordered to trial following a preliminary hearing in April. Maines was held on drug related charges along with witness intimidation and terroristic threats.

The latest charges were filed last month. That brought a swift rebuke from Maines’ Pittsburgh attorney, Steven Townsend.

“I don’t think they produced any further evidence than they had in the first criminal complaint,” Townsend said after the hearing. “They threw a couple of red herrings out there.”

William Cawthorne, 38, again relived that day a package of pot showed up at his doorstep. The incident culminated with Schroll and Meyer confronting Cawthorne with guns and demanding the drugs.

There was a struggle and Cawthorne and Schroll were shot.

‘Trouble like you’ve never seen’

Cawthorne testified that a United Parcel Service package arrived and when he and his girlfriend open it there was pot inside.

Because his girlfriend was on probation, the couple was uncertain if they should call police.

Soon Maines and another man arrived asking for the package, but were told there was no package, Cawthorne said.

Maines later returned with Meyer and offered money for the package and made threats.

“If I don’t get the box by Monday, there will be trouble like you’ve never seen,” Maines said, according to Cawthorne.

After they left, Cawthorne and his girlfriend drove to the police station and gave them the drugs and written statements, he said.

The couple returned home when Meyer and Schroll broke into the house packing pistols, he said.

A struggle followed, and a gun discharged with a bullet striking Cawthorne in the leg and Schroll in the head.

Cawthorne said he spent two or three weeks in the hospital, endured three or four surgeries, and now walks with a leg brace and cane.

Ready for trial

City Detective Lawrence Wagner testified that the package was sent to the state police crime lab in Greensburg, where it was determined that it contained marijuana.

Assistant District Attorney Tamara Bernstein said the commonwealth met it’s prima facie case.

“You could see the victim was really forthcoming,” she said. “He was very clear. Coupled with the other evidence that we have, the next step is to get ready for trial.”

Maines remains free on bond.

Patrick Buchnowski is a crime reporter with The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/PatBuchnowskiTD.