HASTINGS - A Reade Township man is awaiting a preliminary hearing after police said he attempted to hire a relative to kill an openly gay employee for demanding a raise and promotion.
According to police, Shane Ryan Krestar, 26, of Fallentimber allegedly approached his uncle either in late September or early October, asking him to injure or kill one of his employees. Krestar owns Key Life Human Services along Main Street in Coalport, a business that provides residential services for mentally challenged clients.
Trooper Kenneth Durbin wrote in his criminal complaint that Krestar told his uncle that a gay female employee "demanded a raise and a promotion to supervisor" and threatened to "play the gay card" if she didn't get them.
The uncle, who is cooperating with police and has not been charged criminally, told police Krestar said: "I have to let her go, but she would play the gay card. What would it take for you to tamper with her car? We have to get rid of her."
According to the uncle, Krestar approached him again several days later, telling him, "We have to get this going."
Police said Krestar approached his uncle two more times, telling him, "I want it done. I'll pay you anything" and later asking, "Are you going to do it or not?"
Krestar is charged with two counts each of solicitation to commit criminal homicide, solicitation to commit aggravated assault and making terroristic threats.
Court documents show Krestar was arrested Friday and arraigned by on-call Magisterial District Judge John W. Barron. He is being held at Cambria County Prison unable to post $200,000 bail.
Krestar graduated from Glendale High School.
According to Mirror archives, he was named a third-team Juniata Valley League basketball all-star in 2005.
A preliminary hearing scheduled for 1 p.m. Tuesday at Magisterial District Judge Michael Zungali's office in Hastings was postponed and not immediately rescheduled.
Office clerks said the hearing likely will not be held for at least two weeks.
Krestar is being represented by Altoona attorney Thomas M. Dickey, who said Tuesday that he believes there are credibility issues with the uncle who reported the threats to police.
"We're very disappointed with how the investigation went," Dickey said, adding that while he couldn't go into detail, there is "some bad family blood" between the two and that the uncle may have "a lot of reason to lie."
Dickey said he will be filing habeas corpus and bail modification motions today, in the hope Krestar can be released so he can continue to run his business.
"Once all the facts come out, I think people are going to be really bothered by how this investigation went down," he said.
Charges in Clearfield County have not yet been filed, but Durbin indicated that more charges, stemming from the two times Krestar approached his uncle at or near Key Life Human Services, will be forthcoming.