The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

State News

October 24, 2012

Evening News Brief | School bus, truck crash - without drivers

BEAVER FALLS — Police don't plan to cite the drivers of a truck and school bus which crashed in western Pennsylvania.

But only because neither vehicle had a driver when they wrecked.

Police in Patterson Township tell the Beaver County Times the incident happened just before 10 a.m. Tuesday when the parked bus began to roll down a hill. Police aren't sure why that happened, because the driver had engaged the parking brake.

The bus rear-ended a parked truck, which also began rolling down the hill alongside the bus, until the truck flipped onto its side. The bus continued on, shearing off one utility pole and hitting another before rolling to a stop a few feet from the porch of a home.

Nobody was hurt.

Patterson Township is about 30 miles northwest of Pittsburgh.


Man charged with causing stepson's cycle crash

MARKLEYSBURG — A western Pennsylvania man has been charged with trying to kill his stepson by running his motorcycle off a road with a pickup truck while the suspect was living with the victim's estranged wife.

A defense attorney for 47-year-old Timothy Rockwell, of Markleysburg, did not immediately return a call for comment on the charges set for a Nov. 28 preliminary hearing.

Police say 37-year-old Alan Rockwell told them the suspect was his uncle before also becoming his stepfather by marrying the younger man's mother. Both men were estranged from their wives when Timothy Rockwell allegedly drove his pickup into the path of Alan Rockwell's motorcycle, causing it to crash April 3.

Defense attorney Jeremy Davis says Timothy Rockwell didn't know who was riding the motorcycle and denies trying to kill his stepson saying, "it was an accident, if anything."


10- to 20-year term in 1992 infant death

NORRISTOWN — A suburban Philadelphia woman has been sentenced to 10 to 20 years in prison in the death of an infant for whom she was baby-sitting two decades ago.

The (Pottstown) Mercury says 39-year-old Melissa Haskell, formerly of Pottstown, choked back tears as she was sentenced Wednesday in Montgomery County Court on a third-degree murder conviction.

She again maintained her innocence in the August 1992 death of 5-month-old Ryan Baurley at a King of Prussia home, saying "I loved that child like he was my own."

Judge Garrett Page said "the jury has spoken" and imposed the maximum sentence allowed under 1992 law.

The death was originally attributed to sudden infant death syndrome, but a coroner later said the boy died of suffocation and acute alcohol intoxication.


Marshals arrest witness in cop-killing case

PITTSBURGH — Federal marshals have arrested a key, though reluctant, witness in the death penalty trial of a man charged with killed a western Pennsylvania police officer and another man.

The Allegheny County trial for 35-year-old Ronald Robinson was to have begun Monday, but was pushed back to January after prosecutors said they couldn't find the witness.

But now that the witness is in custody, jury selection will begin Nov. 12 and testimony on Nov. 26.

Prosecutors allege that Robinson gunned down Penn Hills officer Michael Crawshaw who arrived at the scene shortly after Robinson allegedly killed 40-year-old Danyal Morton over a $500 drug debt in December 2009.

Prosecutors aren't identifying the reluctant witness because they say he has expressed a fear of testifying. He was taken into custody Tuesday night.

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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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