The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

September 30, 2013

How the father of a man threatened with gun violence stayed the aggressor's sentence

EBENSBURG — A Johnstown man sidestepped a stay in prison Monday after the father of a man he threatened to shoot told the judge that a long probation period would suffice.

“You should consider this family the best friends you have. He just kept you out of jail,” Cambria County Judge David Tulowitzki told James Cleveland George.

George, 55, of the 300 block of Moore Street in the city’s Prospect section, was charged with aggravated assault, terroristic threats, reckless endangerment and attempted simple assault after he put a gun to the head of the son of his neighbor.

Police said on April 24 George put the gun to the head of Joseph Barr Jr., but Barr shoved the .357 Magnum away, causing it to discharge.

Joseph Barr Sr., who represented his son in the courtroom, became emotional as he recounted the incident for the judge, noting how close his son came to being shot.

George and the Barr family have lived beside one another for a number of years and the incident occurred after the defendant and victim began arguing.

The defendant entered a plea agreement several weeks ago to a single misdemeanor charge, a deal Tulowitzki questioned Monday.

“This seems to be a very generous plea by the commonwealth,” the judge said.

“Normally, I would not accept this – bringing a loaded gun into a situation ups the ante significantly, especially when it (the gun) goes off,” he said.

Cambria County Assistant District Attorney Beth Bolton Penna said that the victim did not want to testify against George, even at the preliminary hearing.

His concern was that George not be allowed to have guns in his house, have no contact with the victim and have a long period of probation, she said.

Tulowitzki complied, sentencing George to five years probation during which time he cannot possess or own a firearm, or have any contact with the victim.

George also must pay $800 restitution to the victim for lost wages following the incident.

Kathy Mellott is a courthouse reporter with The Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter at

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • 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

  • 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


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