The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

November 15, 2012

State briefs 11/16/2012


2nd Ohio man pleads guilty in Pitt threats

PITTSBURGH – A second Ohio man has pleaded guilty to sending anonymous YouTube threats in which he claimed to have hacked into the University of Pittsburgh’s computer system on the heels of a series of unrelated bomb threats.

Authorities said 25-year-old Alexander Waterland, of Loveland, Ohio, pleaded guilty Thurs­day to a charge of conspiracy to commit Internet extortion.

Brett Hudson, of Hillsboro, Ohio, pleaded guilty in October.

The FBI said the men claimed to be members of the hacking group Anonymous who had obtained confidential information on students and faculty.

The threats were considered extortion because they demanded that the school apologize for not safeguarding students whose personal information had supposedly been stolen. That turned out to be a bluff.

Sentencing for Waterland is scheduled for March 13.

Penn State trustees mull recommendations

STATE COLLEGE – Penn State trustees say they’ll weigh the state auditor general’s recommendations that the university’s governing structure be changed in the wake of the child molestation scandal involving former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.

Trustees began two days of regularly scheduled meetings on Thursday.

Auditor General Jack Wagner’s recommendations, released Wednesday, included the removal of the university president as a voting trustee.

Trustee James Broadhurst said leaders spoke briefly with Wagner by phone before he released his report, which they received late Wednesday or Thursday.

The other main points, as Broadhurst relayed to a trustees committee meeting, were to make the governor a nonvoting member, increase the number needed for a voting quorum from 13 to a majority of members and fully extend the Right-to-Know law to Penn State and the other three state-related institutions of Lincoln, Pitt and Temple.

Trustees chairwoman Karen Peetz said the board also is awaiting recommendations from the Faculty Senate. It already has received recommendations from former FBI director Louis Freeh, who led the university’s internal investigation into the scandal.

Peetz said at the governance committee meeting Thursday “we need to decide at the end what we want to do” after more deliberation over all recommendations. Potential changes will be a main topic of a January retreat by the board.

Trustees on Thursday also discussed the process to replace President Rodney Erickson, who took over from Graham Spanier and plans to step down when his contract expires in June.

The full board meets today, when it’s expected to formally approve the search process.

Emeritus trustees and the size of the 32-member board also were discussed Thursday.

Police seek tips about unsolved 1968 slaying

HARRISBURG – Investigators asked the public Thursday for tips in the stabbing death of a young Marine, found dead along the Pennsylvania Turnpike more than 40 years ago but only recently identified through DNA.

State police said the Marine had no identification on him when he was found Nov. 18, 1968, along the highway near Downingtown, Chester County.

He was identified in May as Cpl. Robert Daniel Corriveau of Lawrence, Mass. Police believe he was murdered.

Corriveau, 20, was found by a state trooper on patrol. He was in a seated position and had a stab wound to the heart.

Corriveau was wounded three times while serving in Vietnam in 1967. At the time of his death, he was receiving psychiatric treatment at Philadelphia Naval Hospital for what was described as a combat-related condition.

Investigators are asking for information that might help solve the case, including information on or from anyone who served with him in the military and people who were working in or patients at the hospital in the months before he disappeared.

To provide information, call (610) 268-5158 or email

RA-1968MarineDeath(@pa.gov.

Pastor pleads not guilty in staged kidnapping

HARRISBURG – A central Pennsylvania church and its youth pastor have pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from a mock kidnapping of a youth group that was meant to be a lesson in religious persecution.

Glad Tidings Assembly of God Church in Lower Swatara Township and 28-year-old Andrew David Jordan, of Elizabethtown, waived an appearance Thursday at an ar­raignment in Dauphin County Court on charges of false im­prisonment and simple assault.

Prosecutors said the half-hour ordeal in March included interrogation and staged torture using power tools.

They said masked congregation members bound and blindfolded the teens and drove them in a van to the parsonage on the church grounds, where the men pretended to torture Jordan.

The mother of one 14-year-old girl filed a complaint with police.

Appeals court confirms collar bomb sentence

ERIE – A federal appeals court has upheld the conviction and life sentence of a woman who was involved with a bizarre bank robbery plot that left a pizza deliveryman dead in 2003.

The Erie Times-News reported Thursday that the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the trial judge properly refused to suppress statements in the case and properly found Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong mentally competent to stand trial.

A jury in federal court convicted Diehl-Armstrong of conspiracy and bank robbery charges in November 2010. She was sentenced her to life plus 30 years in February 2011.

Deliveryman Brian Wells was killed when a bomb locked to his neck exploded after the bank robbery.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.