The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

April 6, 2012

In brief: Ex-band director contacted girl, DA says

SOMERSET — A former high school band director has been jailed until he appears in court next week on charges that he had sex with a 16-year-old female student.

Joshua Covert, 38, of Johnstown, is charged with involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, corruption of minors and other charges in connection with the relationship that allegedly began last year. His defense attorney, Robert Gleason, told the Daily American of Somerset that those charges and the bond revocation motion that landed Covert in jail this week will both be resolved on Monday when he enters a plea before a Somerset County judge.

Covert was free on bond on the condition that he not contact the girl. But a judge ordered him jailed Thursday after prosecutors said he contacted the girl on Facebook and sent her two text messages from his wife’s phone.

Woman charged in Portage burglary

PORTAGE – A local woman was charged Friday with breaking into a borough residence late Thursday or early Friday and taking keys, five bags of clothes and household items valued at about $800.

Crystal Liegh Mayes, 23, of the first block of Terrace Circle, also was charged by the Portage borough police with theft and receiving stolen property. She was arraigned before on-call District Judge Rick Varner of Salix.

Mayes was taken to the Cambria County Prison in lieu of $25,000 bail.

The criminal complaint said Mayes was found wearing a stolen sweat shirt outside the victim’s residence on Washington Avenue.

The remainder of the stolen items were located at Mayes’ residence, the complaint said.

Expert: Dog that bit baby not dangerous

PITTSBURGH – A defense expert says the dog that fatally bit a newborn baby inside a Pittsburgh-area home was playing, not attacking the child.

A dog behavior expert told an Allegheny County judge Thursday the dog, Helo, wasn’t trying to harm 2-day-old Howard Nicholson when he bit the child’s head Feb. 16 after they were left unattended.

Prosecutors said the

19-month-old husky is dangerous and wanted him euthanized. A man who subsequently adopted Helo said he’s not dangerous.

Defense expert James Crosby said the dog may have mistaken the newborn for a toy when the child was left on the floor when his mother left the room.

The dog remains quarantined. The hearing was continued until April 27.

A citation was issued to the child’s mother over dog law violations.

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