Tipton man takes plea

HOLLIDAYSBURG — A Tipton man has rendered a guilty plea to a firearms charge, thereby canceling his jury trial expected to start Monday.

Michael Lee McClellan, 33, submitted the plea Thursday to possession of a firearm prohibited, one of several charges state police at Hollidaysburg filed against him after responding to a June 21 domestic dispute.

Judge Timothy M. Sullivan imposed a sentence of 18 to 36 months’ incarceration, recommended in light of the plea, and dismissed a second firearms charge and charges of terroristic threats and simple assault.

Police said that McClellan and a girlfriend were arguing on June 21 at a residence along Tipton Manor Road when McClellan began trashing the house and throwing items.

The girlfriend told police that McClellan threatened to kill her and that he struck her with a propane tank while throwing items. He then left the property and was found at a nearby convenience store.

At the house, responding police officers seized a handgun that was on McClellan’s bed, in addition to other guns and ammunition. Because of prior convictions, McClellan is forbidden from possessing a firearm.

Defense attorney Ted Krol on Thursday told Sullivan that McClellan has remained incarcerated since his June 21 arrest, unable to make bail set at $25,000 cash.

Assistant District At­torney Derek Elensky told Sullivan that the negotiated incarceration period is less than called for in the state’s standard sentencing guidelines, but that reflects the victim’s reluctance to testify next week at trial. Sullivan acknowledged Elensky’s information, as confirmed by Krol who said he spoke to the victim before Thursday’s plea.

Sullivan also ordered McClellan to seek drug and alcohol counseling and have a mental health evaluation completed while he remains in the Blair County Prison to finish his sentence.

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