City man resentenced in armed robbery case

Irby used BB gun to recover nude photos of girlfriend

CLEARFIELD — An Altoona man accused of robbing a man at gunpoint to recover nude photos of his girlfriend in June 2016 was back in Clearfield County Court on Friday.

Michael Jerome Irby Jr., 28, was charged after an incident in Mahaffey when Irby forced his way into the victim’s home with a gun and threatened to kill him if he didn’t turn over his computer, phone and camera that had naked photos of Irby’s girlfriend, Sara Ann Wolfe.

In July 2017, Irby pleaded guilty to robbery and terroristic threats and was sentenced by President Judge Fredric J. Ammerman to 16 months to five years in state prison.

Since that time, Irby has filed several appeals and one of these found a mistake was made when the probation office determined the minimum sentence in the case would be between six and 16 months. It should have been six to 14 months, according to the Western Division of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania.

The case was sent back to Clearfield County for a re-sentencing hearing, which was held Friday before Ammerman.

Steven Johnston, of the public defender’s office who is representing Irby, noted that Irby is eligible for parole and was only being kept until the re-sentencing hearing was completed. He asked Ammerman to reconsider Irby’s maximum sentence of five years.

Ammerman gave Irby 14 months to five years in state prison, keeping with his original maximum. He commented that his reasons for doing so were the same as he stated at original sentencing hearing.

According to a previous report during that hearing, Ammerman noted that Irby received a state sentence because he had a weapon and threatened to kill the victim. He added that Irby had 22 violations while he was incarcerated at the county jail.

After being read his rights Friday, Irby immediately stated that he may file an appeal on the new sentence.

Because Irby has filed a Post-Conviction Relief Act petition citing ineffectiveness of counsel of the public defender’s office, he will be appointed a new attorney.

If he does appeal his latest sentence, it will not only keep him in prison, it will also hold up the PCRA until the other appeal is pro­cessed, it was noted.

Wolfe, also of Altoona, pleaded guilty in July 2017 to criminal conspiracy/theft and criminal conspir­acy/assault. She was sentenced by Ammerman to 11 months to two years, less one day, in the county jail and one year of consecutive probation.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, the victim was a photographer who has his own magazine.

He had a photo shoot with Wolfe, who worked with him doing marketing in May 2016. Some of her photos have been on the cover of the magazine.

She signed a standard release prior to him taking any pictures, the victim said, and she seemed happy with the results. In a few of the photos, she was nude.

A witness told police that Wolfe had admitted to her that she had driven Irby to the victim’s home and was in the car while Irby went into the home with a BB gun.

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