City man claims jail term illegal

Judge rejects idea Holloman held illegally

A federal magistrate in Johnstown has rejected an Altoona man’s claim that he is being held illegally in the State Correctional Institution at Huntingdon.

Amrah I. Holloman, 32, filed a federal petition in May asking for his immediate release contending the maximum term on a three- to six-year sentence he received in 2012 from Blair County Judge Daniel J. Milliron expired last year.

Magisterial Judge Keith Pesto in Johnstown filed an opinion Friday afternoon rejecting Holloman’s request and pointing out that while Holloman’s initial sentence was due to expire on June 5, 2017, his maximum was extended by the Board of Probation and Parole to March 6, 2020, because he committed a parole violation.

Holloman was released on parole from a state correctional institution in 2014 where he was serving his sentence for drug violations.

He was free until November 2016 when city police arrested him for a domestic incident.

Five months later, Blair County Judge Jolene G. Kopriva sentenced Holloman to time-served to 23.5 months for those new offenses.

On March, 22, 2017, jurisdiction in Holloman’s case was returned to Penn­sylvania Board of Probation and Parole, which, according to Pennsylvania law, refused to give him credit toward completion of his sentence for the time he had been on parole, known as street time.

The result was that the state board added 1,096 days to his sentence with his new maximum date set at March 22, 2020.

In his “Report and Recommendation,” Pesto wrote, “Denial of this petition (the federal claim) should be without prejudice to the matter proceeding in the Commonwealth Court,” meaning his decision should not bar further hearing at the state level.

But Pesto urged that a certificate of appealability be denied to the 3rd U.S. Circuit of Appeals because no federal issue is at stake.

Pesto has given Holloman and the state board 14 days to take exception to his recommendation.

At the end of that period, it will go to U.S. District Judge Kim R. Gibson for review.

The judge can overrule or approve Pesto’s recommendation or issue his own opinion.

According to Pesto, Holloman was released on parole on June 4, 2014, at the expiration of his minimum sentence.

After his November 2016 arrest, a detainer was lodged against Holloman for committing a crime while on parole.

After Kopriva imposed her sentence, Holloman’s case was returned to the state board for disposition of his parole violation.

“Under Pennsylvania law (Holloman) had no right to be paroled in 2014 … but when he was paroled, he was paroled subject to Pennsylvania’s laws that permit forfeiture of street time under certain circumstances,” Pesto pointed out.

Under state law, the state board had the power to forfeit Holloman’s street time and to impose an additional violation consecutive to Kopriva’s sentence, Pesto stated, hence the addition of 1,096 days to Holloman’s maximum sentence.