The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

April 16, 2014

Despite good deeds, man going back to prison

SHARON — Linda K. Kretzer had nothing but praise for Raymond C. McKelvey.

McKelvey, the father of Kretzer’s daughter’s boyfriend, doesn’t smoke or swear, is helpful with her husband’s wood-cutting business, and has counseled the Kretzers on buying cars, she said.

He also has assisted caring for her 30-year-old special-needs son, such as taking him fishing, and spends time with her grandchildren.

Kretzer stood in a courtroom Friday next to McKelvey. He was wearing handcuffs, leg shackles and jail orange, and was about to be sentenced for a 2013 assault in which a man was stabbed.

“This is out of character for Raymond McKelvey,” Kretzer said.

Frank A. Thomas, a co-worker and friend of McKelvey, said he was just as surprised as Kretzer when he heard of McKelvey’s arrest.

McKelvey is a hard worker, has a positive attitude that affects everyone around him and is loved by kids, Thomas said.

“He would help anybody,” Thomas said.

After the hearing, McKelvey was taken to prison to serve 1 year, 2 months to 4 years, 4 months.

McKelvey, 36, formerly of South Oakland Avenue, Sharon, pleaded guilty Jan. 15 to charges of terroristic threats, simple assault and reckless endangerment for a Feb. 23, 2013, incident in the Quality Inn, 3200 S. Hermitage Road, Hermitage.

Police said they were called to a fight involving three or four men that started as a confrontation over McKelvey’s ex-girlfriend. McKelvey punched Frank Stefanosky and stabbed Brandon Cominsky in the shoulder with a folding razor knife, police said.

For McKelvey, the arrest brought him back to a place he had been before, and didn’t want to visit again.

He had served nine years in prison for a 1995 aggravated assault conviction, a case filed by Sharon police, and resolved at the time to “change everything about the way I was.”

According to the testimony of Thomas and Kretzer, all outside appearances indicated he had.

But, things got out of hand at the Quality Inn.

“I only pulled the knife because I was scared,” McKelvey said, hoping a flash of steel would scare the others away.

He apologized to his victims and said he didn’t realize anyone had been stabbed.

“I’m sorry that night happened,” he said.

Mercer County Common Pleas Court Judge Thomas R. Dobson said McKelvey’s victims were not without fault. He gave McKelvey 14 days’ jail credit and assessed him $2,864 restitution.

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