Scrap thief who burned wire insulation gets time

SHARON — A Sharon man will spend 11 to 23 months behind bars for stealing electrical wire, burning off the insulation and illegally dumping the refuse into waterways.

William D. Koehler, 28, of 380 S. Irvine Ave., was sentenced Wednesday by Mercer County Common Pleas Judge John C. Reed and resentenced Thursday by Judge Thomas R. Dobson for previous crimes.

His resentencing carried up to 18 months behind bars, but it will be served concurrently with his time for the new crimes.

Koehler said that he and Randy R. Law, 31, of 1883 Pine Hollow Blvd., Hermitage, burned the insulation off the wire so they could scrap it. Law, pleaded guilty Jan. 6 to criminal trespassing, polluting and trespassing on posted land.

Their dumping of the burned insulation in Booth Run in West Salem Township was a felony.

Koehler also admitted trespassing Sept. 15 and 19 at a Pennsylvania Power Co. electrical substation in Coolspring Township and at a Hermitage construction site.

Dobson said his main concern was the danger in Koehler messing around with electrical wires for scrapping purposes. “It’s a good way to die. Quickly. And painfully,” he said.

Koehler pleaded guilty Dec. 9 to criminal trespassing and polluting. The resentencing was for prior charges of resisting arrest, reckless endangerment and possessing drug paraphernalia; he admitted those crimes in 2006.

Scoutmaster allegedly fondled girl at camp

FRENCH CREEK TOWNSHIP – An Oil City Scoutmaster had charges held to court Wednesday by District Judge David Fish, Pine Township, for allegedly fondling a 17-year-old girl during a weekend camping trip.

Timothy John Brown, 40, was charged Sept. 3 with indecent assault and corruption of minors for touching the girl at Custolaga Town Boy Scout Camp in French Creek Township, state police said.

The girl told police she was in the Camp Master’s cabin with another girl, talking to Brown, when the assault occurred. The court documents did not give a date for the alleged incident.

Brown is free after posting bond.

Police: Man beat boys with leather belt

FARRELL — A Farrell man has been arrested for allegedly beating two boys with a leather belt severely enough as to leave marks and scabs and cause lingering pain, police said.

Randolph Cuthbert, 39, of 511 Roemer Blvd., Farrell, turned himself in at about 12:15 p.m. Thursday at the Brookfield police station on a warrant charging him with aggravated assault, simple assault and endangering the welfare of children. The charges were filed by Southwest Mercer County Regional police.

Southwest said they were summoned by a Mercer County Children and Youth Services investigator at 12:10 p.m. Jan. 21 to the John Hetra Child Development Center, Farrell, with a report of possible child abuse. The investigator was called by a Farrell Area School District employee who saw wounds on the legs and buttocks the boys, ages 8 and 5, police said.

Police and CYS went to Cuthbert’s home and Cuthbert admitted giving one of the boys a “whooping” that morning, and the other the day before, police said.

He said the boys deserved the punishment because of their behavior, police said.

Cuthbert also showed police the belt he used and said he makes sure to hold it so that he does not hit them with the buckle, police said.

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