HOLLIDAYSBURG - Blair County Judge Daniel J. Milliron, a former Altoona mayor, said the amount of gun violence in the city is "tragic" and told a county inmate Friday he would consider a plea agreement on his behalf if he would help police find the man who allegedly fired a gun in the city in September.
Jeffrey Lamar Jones, 30, of 1415 Washington Ave. said he was in a bar Sept. 15 and someone shot at him.
Jones contended that the mother of his child had informed him that she intended to find someone to shoot him, and he said after a bullet narrowly missed him in the bar - an offense he reported to Altoona police - he received a message from the woman stating she told him he was going to be shot.According to police records, Jones found the woman walking across a convenience store parking lot and punched her, knocking out several teeth.
Jones was charged with aggravated assault and simple assault, which led to his incarceration and appearance before Milliron.
Jones' attorney, Assistant Public Defender Kristen Anastasi, was asking that her client be given a sentence of not more than a year, but Milliron wasn't sure he wanted to accept such an agreement despite Jones' explanation of the events.
Milliron, who also headed a crime commission that studied the surge in drug violence and gunplay in the city, has taken a tough stance when guns are involved.
He has asked the Pennsylvania Board of Parole and Probation on 10 occasions to impose a restriction on individuals who came to Altoona to sell drugs and who committed violent acts to make it a condition of their parole that they not be permitted to return to Altoona.
Jones denied knowing who the shooter was.
The judge maintained his stance, telling Jones if he could give police a hint that would help them capture the shooter, he would be consider giving him favorable treatment.
"We've got to get guns and people who shoot guns off the street," the judge said. "We need to get the guy with the gun off the street."
Milliron also asked the Blair County Sheriff's Department to check with city police to determine if they have any leads on the man who allegedly shot at Jones.
As Jones' court appearance ended, Milliron rejected the plea agreement and ordered the case placed back on the county's trial list.
After the hearing, Anastasi said Jones may just enter an open plea on his charges and hope for leniency.
Mirror Staff Writer Phil Ray is at 946-7469.