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Judge orders mental health check

CLEARFIELD — A Clearfield man who threatened corrections officers while attempting to escape from the Clearfield County Jail is being sent for a mental health evaluation.

In July, John F. Moore, 43, Clearfield, allegedly removed a piece of a metal desk which he used as a weapon to threaten corrections officers and to injure himself.

According to the affidavit, Moore held the shank at the neck of one of the corrections officers, demanding to be let out of the building. Later he was locked in the garage where he tried to break an exit door with a saw horse and punched out a safety glass window. He threatened to kill himself if they did not let him out of the jail.

When he was taken into custody, he reportedly stated that they should have shot him because he was a heroin addict and wanted to die.

The situation was noted as a “psychological emergency” initially, and eventually Moore was taken into custody before being transported to a hospital for treatment of his injuries.

On Friday, he was in Clearfield County Court to plead guilty to aggravated assault, aggravated harassment and criminal attempt/escape, all felonies in exchange for a six-month jail sentence.

His attorney, Joshua Maines, told President Judge Fredric J. Ammerman that it made little sense for Moore to try to escape because he was only incarcerated on a bench warrant for not paying his fines and costs on another case.

Moore was being medicated for narcotics withdrawal when this happened, Maines explained.

After he was taken off those medications, he has been stable.

Maines continued to say Moore had a limited criminal record with no history of violence.

Assistant District Attorney Trudy Lumadue said there was a question as to whether the incident was the result of Moore’s medication.

Ammerman stated the probation office was recommending he reject the six-month plea.

Moore’s actions put the correction officers at risk, which could put this case into a higher sentencing range requiring a 14-month minimum sentence, Ammerman said. In addition, the CO involved in the incident was not in favor of the six-month sentence.

Instead of rejecting the plea agreement, Ammerman decided to send Moore to state prison for a 60-day psychiatric evaluation.

Moore will be scheduled to be sentenced following the results of the evaluation.

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