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Man gets probation for threats

Additional charges dropped in exchange for guilty pleas

HOLLIDAYSBURG — A Hollidaysburg area man accused more than a year ago of threatening to kill family members with a shotgun has rendered guilty pleas to criminal charges in exchange for four years’ probation.

Stephen S. McMaster, 58, offered the pleas Friday in Blair County Court to two counts of recklessly endangering another person, graded as second degree misdemeanors.

Additional charges of aggravated assault, graded as a felony, and simple assault, terrorist threats, endangering the welfare of children, graded as misdemeanors, were dismissed in the exchange.

Judge Elizabeth A. Doyle accepted the plea negotiated by the district attorney’s office and defense attorney Thomas M. Dickey.

Dickey advised Doyle that McMaster, a veteran, had turned to the VanZandt VA Medical Center for help and was following through with recommendations. Dickey also told the judge that the victims were OK with the proposed negotiated resolution.

Doyle also agreed to include a provision in the sentencing order, indicating that if McMaster finishes two years of probation without incident, he can petition for early termination of the probation.

State police at Hollidaysburg arrested McMaster in January 2020 in the parking lot of a Hollidaysburg convenience store where he was found in a vehicle with Winchester 12-gauge shotgun and bullets in his pocket. A preliminary breath test, according to state police, showed he had a blood-alcohol level of 0.212.

Police had gone looking for McMaster after responding to a report that he was threatening to shoot family members at a residence on Loop Road. The family members sought refuge by locking themselves in a bedroom, state police said.

Mirror Staff Writer Kay

Stephens is at 814-946-7456.

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