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
  • 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

  • Homicides linked to center

    Three homicides that took place in Johnstown last year involved either a suspect or victim who previously resided in the Community Corrections Center.
    Police Chief Craig Foust confirmed the name of one victim, who spent almost two months in the facility on Washington Street during 2007, a time period verified by the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections.

    April 19, 2014

  • bachota Volunteers helping to spruce up community

    Walls and ceilings inside the Cambria County Library look clean and bright with fresh new coats of paint on them.
    The work was recently done by inmates from the Johnstown Community Corrections Center.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • alanna Hartzok targets income disparity

    Alanna Hartzok described herself as being a conservative progressive.
    The Franklin County resident said she is in favor of conserving environmental resources, education opportunities, Social Security and Medicare, while wanting to progressively address wealth inequality, health care and taxation.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Schools rise to leadership challenge

    Forest Hills and Cambria Heights high school students put the spirit of healthy competition toward a good cause and picked up some lessons in leadership along the way.

    April 19, 2014

  • KATEY LADIKA Student’s photos win awards

    A Forest Hills High School junior has captured several awards in a high school arts and writing contest that has identified greats such as Truman Capote and Andy Warhol.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jim Siehl JIM SIEHL | Music to my ears

    Seldom has $15 produced such a high level of entertainment as it did a few weeks ago when I found myself in the second row just left of center keeping back the tears once again during my third live performance of “Les Miserables.”

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Michele Bender Bye, bye, Easter birdies

    Animals fascinated my mom. Riding the train between Johnstown and Philly, she saw horses, pigs, sheep, cows … a Mattel See ’n Say of farm critters.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bill Eggert Columnist Photo Travelogue of terror features Johnstown area

    A historic week will surround the venerable Silver Drive-In come the beginning of May.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos


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