The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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November 5, 2012

Midday Briefing | Man sentenced in ex-fiancee assassination plot


A central Pennsylvania man who pleaded guilty to trying to hire a hit man to kill his ex-fiancee claims he would never harm a woman.

Forty-four-year-old Lonnie Deppen was sentenced Monday to seven to 22 years in prison for attempting to have his former girlfriend killed two years ago.

The Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era reports the county judge handling the case called Deppen's claims disturbing.

Police said Deppen, of Ephrata stalked the victim after she ended their relationship, put a GPS tracker on her car, then tried to have her killed. Authorities say an undercover officer posing as a hit man received a photo, a down payment and details about the woman.

Deppen pleaded guilty in July to solicitation of first-degree murder, stalking and other counts.


Information from: Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era ,


Coroner: Man died while clearing storm debris

EMMAUS — A coroner says a Pennsylvania man died while clearing storm debris over the weekend.

The Lehigh County coroner's office says 38-year-old Jerome Tyson died Saturday evening at a hospital following an incident in Upper Milford Township.

The cause and manner of death have not been determined. An autopsy for the New Tripoli man is scheduled for Monday.

Fifteen other deaths have been linked to last week's storm.


Police: Jealousy fueled apartment arson

BRADFORD — Police say jealously prompted a man try to burn down a northwestern Pennsylvania apartment building in July and to succeed in doing so a month later.

Online court records don't list an attorney for 22-year-old Justin Schlopy, of Bradford, who was arraigned then jailed Sunday on charges that he tried to set fire to the two-unit apartment house in July and then succeeded on Aug. 24.

The August fire left nine people homeless and killed eight pets, though no residents and firefighters were hurt.

The Bradford Era reports Monday that Schlopy targeted the building because his ex-girlfriend was living with another man there.

Police say he started the fire by entering their apartment while they were out and setting fire to some clothes and a flammable liquid he put in a garbage can.


Information from: The Bradford Era,

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What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

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