CLEARFIELD – A 51-year-old Clearfield attorney will go to trial on several counts, one of which is a felony gun charge.
Steve Jarrett, who was most recently in the news after he protested the sale of Nazi and Ku Klux Klan items at the Clearfield County Fair by chaining himself to the County Courthouse,was charged with carrying a firearm without a license, a felony that carries a maximum punishment of seven years in jail and a $15,000 fine.
Pennsylvania Deputy Attorney General Michael Sprow prosecuted the case for the commonwealth due to conflicts within the Clearfield County District Attorney’s office.
After Wednesday’s hearing was over, Magisterial District Judge James Hawkins returned all charges to court. The case will now be added to the trial list.
Jarrett is also charged with terroristic threats (misdemeanor), a charge that carries a maximum sentence of five years in jail and a maximum fine of $10,000; simple assault (misdemeanor), maximum two years in jail and a $5,000 fine; and harassment (misdemeanor), one year in jail and a $2,500 fine.
Sprow said he was pleased with the judge’s decision to hold the charges to court.
“I’m satisfied with it,” Sprow said after the hearing was over. “Obviously that’s what we came here for was to get the charges bound over.”
Even if Jarrett is convicted on all counts, Sprow said, the determination of punishment would be made through a determination of the seriousness of the crime and Jarrett’s previous record, if any.
Jarrett was understandably not as happy with the decision.
“I’m a little disappointed,” Jarrett said. “I wish it could’ve been different, but the fat lady hasn’t sung.
”It’s not over until it’s over. Unfortunately, anybody can get up (on the witness stand) and say anything and the judge is almost duty-bound to hold it over.”
Jarrett said credibility does not matter at this level of court, where it must only appear “on the face” that a crime was committed, or more simply, it is more likely than not that a crime was committed and more likely than not the defendant was the person who committed it.
At issue is whether Jarrett held a handgun and pointed it at the chest of a woman on Dec. 23. Other charges stem from that incident, which was not reported to police until Dec. 28.
During the hearing, testimony was presented from the alleged victim in the case as well as two other witnesses.
The affidavit in the case and evidence presented Wednesday shows that Jarrett is not licensed to carry a firearm in Pennsylvania.
Sprow said if Jarrett is convicted of any of the counts, the case would likely be reviewed by the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Disciplinary Board to determine if Jarrett can still practice law in the state.
Jarrett acted as his own attorney Wednesday, but he was to be represented by his brother Arthur Jarrett. He was unable to be present for the preliminary hearing.
Two counts of disorderly conduct were withdrawn by the commonwealth at the start of the hearing.
As Jarrett was leaving the Clearfield County Jail, he said he hoped to file motions to have a new preliminary hearing.
Jarrett is free on unsecured bail.