The man sentenced to death for the 2004 murders of two Bradford County Sheriff’s Deputies has had his execution sentence commuted. Dustin Briggs will instead spend the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole. The punishment was reduced after a judge ruled that the jury in Briggs’ case was given improper instructions about weighing evidence before deciding on whether he would face the death penalty. Briggs was convicted in Bradford County Court in 2006 for the murders of Deputy Michael Van Kuren and Deputy Christopher Burgert. The two were serving a warrant on a suspected meth lab when Briggs opened fire.
The Children’s House in Towanda will hold their fourth-annual 5K Race for Healing on Saturday, April 29 at the Athens High School. Pre-registration is open now and can be done on the Children’s House website or Facebook page. All proceeds will benefit the children’s advocacy center and ensure that area children have the opportunity to continue to receive services for free. The Children’s House serves children in many different counties, including Tioga County. Edith Jordan and Jamie Holliday were guests on today’s WEBO Morning Show. You can listen to the full interview below.
We now know the motive behind the alleged murder of one Bradford County native by another in West Palm Beach, FL on Saturday. The Palm Beach Post is reporting that investigators believe 24-year-old Randy Herman repeatedly stabbed his roommate, 21-year-old Brooke Preston, as she was saying goodbye to him. She was planning to move back to Pennsylvania. The two grew up in Wyalusing and lived together at a home in West Palm Beach for the last six months but were not romantically involved. Investigators say Preston was stabbed more than a dozen times. Herman called 911 after the incident and is now facing first-degree murder charges.
A murder investigation in West Palm Beach, Florida has ties to Bradford County. 21-year-old Brooke Preston was found murdered on Saturday. Palm Beach Sheriff’s Deputies say 24-year-old Randy Herman, Jr. called 911 to report the crime, and was found at the scene covered in the woman’s blood. He is now facing first degree murder charges. Both Preston and Herman are originally from Wyalusing and graduated from Wyalusing Valley High School. A story in the Palm Beach Post says the two were roommates, but not romantically involved. They have been renting the home where Preston was found dead for the last six months.
A state constable in Bradford County has been found not guilty of several charges stemming from an alleged road rage incident in Sayre last year. Terrance Blacknell was facing several charges in Bradford County Court, including intimidation, reckless endangerment, and making terroristic threats, accused of brandishing his gun at another driver last August. A jury found him not guilty following a one-day trial Tuesday. Pennsylvania elects constables for each county to help the court system by serving warrants and other papers, transporting prisoners, and providing courtroom security.
Northeast ATV Sales in South Waverly was completely destroyed by a fire that lasted for several hours from late Tuesday through early Wednesday. The large steel building full of ATVs, snowmobiles, and riding mowers caught fire just after 11pm Tuesday. Several fire departments were called to the scene, and many of them spent 9 hours fighting the flames and putting out hot spots. No injuries were reported. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
A trucking company garage was destroyed by fire in Rome, PA yesterday. Two employees inside the Romanik Trucking garage on Route 187 reported a fire at 2pm. By the time firefighters arrived, flames and a large cloud of smoke were visible. A total of 10 different departments from Bradford County responded to the fire call, and some in Tioga County were put on standby. Flames were out by 6pm and no injuries were reported. The cause of the fire is under investigation, but it is not believed to be suspicious. Part of Route 187 was closed while crews battled the fire. The building was used to service the trucks in the Romanik fleet.
The 900,000 pound superload carrying a large GE turbine finally departed Chemung last night and traveled south into Bradford County on Route 220. The convoy was held up in Chemung for several days waiting for a PennDOT inspection and the weather to clear. The 900,000 pound truck is 345 feet long, 20 feet wide, and 18 feet high. Due to its size, it can only move 5 miles per hour and takes up both lanes of traffic. It will move during the overnight hours through PA, stopping this morning between Athens and Towanda. The turbine is on its way to the Moxie Power Plant in Salem Township, just east of Berwick in Luzerne County.