The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

October 23, 2013

2 charged in fire that destroyed cabin

JOHNSTOWN — Two people have been charged with arson in a blaze that destroyed an uninhabited cabin along Mountain Road in Lower Yoder Township.

Police said reports from confidential sources implicated Jessica Rene Montgomery, 24, of the 1800 block of William Penn Avenue, in the fire that occurred around 12:30 a.m. July 10.

The sources reported Montgomery was bragging about the night she, Jeremey Dick, 19, of the 700 block of Parkview Drive, and an unidentified juvenile drove a Chevrolet Tracker belonging to Montgomery’s father to the old cabin owned by Leann Dejaiffe.

According to a statement Dick made to West Hills Regional Police, the three were consuming alcohol before Dick poured rum on the floor and lit it on fire. Dick added nearby clothing to the fire, the juvenile added paper and Montgomery dragged a wooden dresser onto the pile, police said.

The three left when the blaze spread to the wall, police said.

The juvenile submitted a statement further implicating Montgomery and Dick, police said. Dick’s statement corroborated the information.

After documenting the confessions, police tracked down Montgomery and asked her to report to the station. She later called detective Sgt. George Musulin and said that her attorney advised her not to meet with him.

Montgomery was informed that criminal charges would be filed against her. She was arrested by Musulin on Friday.

Montgomery and Dick are charged with arson, criminal trespass and criminal mischief. Montgomery faces additional charges of corrupting a minor and furnishing alcohol to a minor.

Montgomery is lodged in the Cambria County Prison on $15,000 bail.

She is awaiting a preliminary hearing before District Judge John Barron of Stonycreek Township.

Justin Dennis is a multimedia reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Flower2 Flowers' color doesn't have to fade

    Those pots of bright yellow daffodils, Easter lilies and hyacinths gracing the home this weekend do not have to end up in the trash bin when the blooms start to fade.

    April 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • Refinancing could lower Richland School District's debt by $2.2M

    When Richland School District borrowed funds for its high school project a decade ago, board members circled “2014” on their calendars as a likely first option to refinance the debt.

    April 20, 2014

  • Pipeline to carry shale byproducts

    An 8-inch transmission line crossing Pennsylvania, including four municipalities in Cambria County, is being repurposed to carry some of the by-products from Marcellus and Utica shale production.

    April 20, 2014

  • Judge Creany, Timothy Vets courts gain support

    Signs of success are mostly anecdotal in Pennsylvania’s special courts for veterans, but judicial officials and lawmakers are so convinced of the program, they’re lobbying to expand it.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • pow21 Person of the Week: ‘I wanted to help’: Teen uses birthday to show love for children, animals

    Anastasia Machik’s love for children and animals inspired her to forgo her birthday gifts for the sake of the two.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Students taking steps to call attention to child abuse

    An upcoming community walk will help raise awareness of child abuse.

    April 20, 2014

  • In brief: PennDOT reports weekly work schedule

    April 20, 2014

  • District Deaths April 21, 2014

    April 20, 2014

  • Halfway house inmates can ease back into society

    Prison life can be a time warp.
    When inmates are locked away – for months, years, decades – society moves forward: Technology evolves, major events occur, pop culture changes. From a personal perspective, families and friends live their lives: weddings, funerals, graduations, births, retirements. All the while, criminals bide their time, existing in a regimented world of cement walls and metal bars.
    Almost all of them eventually rejoin society, though.

    April 19, 2014

  • Crime board took aim at house

    Johnstown’s unemployment rate is around 8 percent.
    One-third of the city’s population lives in poverty.
    Burglaries and assaults significantly increased between 2010 and 2012. There is a thriving illegal trade in heroin and prescription drugs.
    Given those conditions, it can be challenging for Johnstown Community Corrections Center residents to find jobs when living in the facility or to avoid falling back into a criminal lifestyle upon their release.

    April 19, 2014


Would you like to see the Johnstown Community Corrections Center remain open after its lease runs out on Oct. 11, 2015?

I'm not sure
     View Results
House Ads