Ventura attorney seeks reduction of sentence
BELLEFONTE — The attorney for convicted murderer Josephy Ventura made his case to a judge Wednesday that the 20-to 40-year state prison sentence is excessive considering Ventura’s remorse and tearful apologies before, during and after his trial.
A jury convicted Ventura in September of third-degree murder for the killing of 22-year-old Penn State student Michael Donahue, of Drums.
Centre County Judge Thomas King Kistler handed down the maximum sentence for a third-degree conviction, 20 to 40 years in prison. Ventura’s attorney, Centre County Assistant Public Defender Casey McClain, asked Kistler to consider Ventura’s remorse and the circumstances that night as reason to give him a reduced minimum sentenced of 151⁄2 years.
Kistler said he would rule in about a week.
Witnesses said Donahue was trying to break up an altercation when Ventura stabbed him once, the blade piercing his heart, in the early morning hours Feb. 17, 2006, at a downtown State College bar. Donahue died of the wound two days later. Ventura claimed he was frightened and lashed out at Donahue in what he thought was self-defense.
Fire leaves Milesburg couple homeless
An electrical fire has left a Milesburg couple homeless.
Milesburg Fire Company Chief Brian Burns said the fire, which started about midnight Monday and took about 45 minutes to get under control, was “accidental” and “electrical.”
He said the home, at 106 Stauffer Road off Runville Road, was not destroyed but is uninhabitable. He estimated about $200,000 in losses for Charles Colyer and his wife.
Colyer and his wife were home at the time of the fire, Burns said, but were able to get out safely and have found a place to stay.Snow Shoe, Howard, and Undine fire companies assisted Milesburg fire as well as Bellefonte EMS, Burns said.
An investigation was completed by Fire Marshal Jeff Wharran.
Man waives hearing on burglary charges
BELLEFONTE — A Bellefonte man facing more than 75 criminal counts for allegedly burglarizing homes across Centre County waived his cases on to Centre County Court prior to a scheduled preliminary hearing on Wednesday.
Daniel S. McCloskey, 21, was arrested March 17 by Ferguson Township police who said they caught him leaving a home he had just burglarized.
Police said McCloskey admitted to nearly two dozen burglaries across Centre County, in the Houserville area of College Township, Bellefonte and in the jurisdictions of two state police barracks. Physical evidence including footprints also linked McCloskey to the crimes, police said.
McCloskey is being held in the Centre County Correctional Facility on $150,000 straight bail on charges including burglary, attempted burglary, criminal trespass, theft, receiving stolen property and possession of a controlled substance.