Claysburg-area man headed to court
Judge refuses to dismiss kidnapping, rape charges
HOLLIDAYSBURG — A Blair County judge has rejected a petition to dismiss kidnapping and other serious charges against a Claysburg-area man, who allegedly held a former girlfriend hostage in her home last summer.
The suspect, Kevin R. Weyandt, 46, is charged with arriving at her home as the woman pulled into the garage about 10 p.m. Aug. 7.
He tried to block her from leaving the garage, however, she made it inside her home.
Weyandt followed, according to the facts outlined in an opinion issued recently by Judge Daniel J. Milliron.
Weyandt allegedly took her car keys and her cellphone and for “upwards of nine hours,” a period until 7:30 a.m. Aug. 8, she was unable to get away.
Eventually she escaped from the home.
Investigating officer Nathan Claycomb, the Greenfield Township Police Department, charged Weyandt with kidnapping, rape, terroristic threats, recklessly endangering another person, unlawful restraint, burglary and theft.
Magisterial District Judge Andrew Blattenberger found there was enough evidence to send case to the Blair County Court of Common Pleas for trial.
The suspect’s Hollidaysburg attorney, Terry W. Despoy, filed a pretrial petition challenging the evidence and asking Milliron to dismiss the criminal complaint in its entirety.
Milliron rejected the defense petition and ordered the case placed on the Blair County Court trial list.
The most difficult issue, according to the judge, is whether there was sufficient evidence to try Weyandt on a charge of kidnapping: removing a person a substantial distance from where she is found or unlawfully detaining her for a substantial period “in a place of isolation with the intention of inflicting bodily injury on to terrorize the victim or another.”
The charge is that Weyandt kidnapped his former girlfriend in her own home.
The charges contend Weyandt took her keys and cellphone and kept her from leaving the home.
The kidnapping charge requires the victim be held for a “substantial period of time.”
Milliron pointed out during the incident Weyandt allegedly threatened to kill the victim, choked her to the point she had trouble breathing, bit her and raped her.
He pointed out the Pennsylvania Superior Court has ruled that a substantial period of time “can depend on the mental state of the victim.”
The Superior Court has ruled, he stated, “The fright that can be engendered in 30 minutes can have the same debilitating effect on one person as 30 hours may have on another.”
“Therefore, considering the duration as well as the nature of this unlawful confinement, the victim here was confined for a substantial period of time,” Milliron ruled.
He posed another question: “Was she in isolation?”
Isolation under the law is not defined to mean geographically, the judge pointed out, but whether she was separated “from the normal protections of society in a fashion that makes discovery or rescue unlikely.”
In reviewing the facts aired during the preliminary hearing, the judge explained that while the victim was confined in her own home, her car keys and cellphone were taken.
“This, along with the physical prevention from leaving her home … shows that the victim was separated from the normal protections of society that makes discovery or rescue unlikely.”
And, he noted, she was not rescued but was able to escape during the early morning hours.
“Thus these allegations rise to the level appropriate for the factual determination to be made by a jury,” the judge concluded.
Weyandt, the evidence showed, was considering killing the woman and himself, Milliron pointed out as he ruled the evidence also supported the charges of terroristic threats.
He also upheld other charges such as burglary. Weyandt, it is charged, entered the home with the intent to commit a crime, theft (the taking of her keys), and rape and sexual assault.
The victim was seeing another man, the criminal complaint indicated, and Weyandt was upset about the relationship after reading text messages between the two.
During the incident, he told her she needed to leave her boyfriend.