A former inmate of the Houtzdale state prison accused of assaulting a corrections officer pleaded guilty Monday during plea and sentencing court in Clearfield County.
President Judge Fredric J. Ammerman sentenced Eric Arms, 36, to an additional two to four years in state prison. He is currently an inmate of SCI Forest in Forest County.
Prior to sentencing, Arms asked that his new sentence run concurrent with his current sentence of 18 to 45 years from a murder case in Philadelphia in 2008. He is also serving two different sentences of two to four years for assaults while imprisoned in 2009. Ammerman cited these other incidents as reasons for giving Arms a consecutive sentence.
After the sentence was announced, Arms suddenly stated he wanted to withdraw his plea. However, it was too late to do this, and the video conference connection with Arms was disconnected.
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According to the affidavit of probable cause, on Jan. 20, 2015, a corrections officer saw Arms standing in front of a cell. The officer ordered Arms to proceed back to his housing unit, but Arms refused. After the officer ordered him a second time, he began to comply and walked out of that room into a vestibule. The officer followed him out, at which time Arms turned toward the officer. The officer asked him to “lock up.” Arms then allegedly swung and struck the officer with a closed fist on the right side of his jaw, knocking him to the ground.