A State College man convicted of trespassing on the Centre County Courthouse property was sentenced to probation Monday.
McKown, 28, was convicted of criminal trespassing March 1 after a one-day jury trial. He had been charged with defiant criminal trespassing and disorderly conduct, both misdemeanor counts, in August 2016.
The charges followed an incident at the Centre County Courthouse in which sheriffs claimed McKown had been told not to return to the courthouse after being told to leave. McKown was convicted on a felony weapons charge in 2008 after bringing a loaded gun into a district judge’s office.
The prosecution argued that McKown has proven he can’t comply with court orders, given that he committed the trespassing offense while already on probation for the weapons charge. McKown also reportedly attempted to tamper with the jury during the March trial, the assistant district attorney said — an allegation that’s still being investigated.
McKown also reportedly attempted to challenge court security in Warren County, the prosecution said, claiming he had been denied access to the building and asking about the metal detectors.
The assistant district attorney claimed McKown remains a threat to himself, law enforcement officers and the general public, saying she was concerned a member of the public will “get caught in the crossfire of one of his constitutional rants.”
McKown’s attorney argued that no charges have been filed from any alleged incident in Warren County, noting that since the conviction was on a misdemeanor trespassing charge, a sentence of probation running concurrent with McKown’s 11-and-a-half-to-23-and-a-half-month probation revocation sentence would be appropriate.
His attorney also said McKown was three days shy of completing his previous probation for the weapons charge when the trespassing incident occurred. McKown declined to comment during the sentencing.
Centre County Court of Common Pleas Judge Pamela Ruest, who presided over both the jury trial and the sentencing, initially sentenced McKown to 60 days to 12 months consecutive to his current sentence, but vacated that sentence when she realized it would be carried out in state prison. Ruest said she did not agree with a state sentence for a level three misdemeanor.
McKown was instead sentenced to supervised probation for one year concurrent to his current sentence. He was fined $500, must pay the costs of prosecution and is prohibited from owning a firearm during that time.