CLEARFIELD – A Curwensville man accused of stealing more than $24,000 of metal items from various coal company sites and hunting camps pleaded guilty recently during plea and sentencing court in Clearfield County.
Brian D. Demi, 44, 39 Lash Court Rd., Curwensville, pleaded guilty to burglary and criminal conspiracy in two cases; theft in four cases; criminal conspiracy and theft in two cases and receiving stolen property in a ninth case. These occurred in five, different Clearfield County townships.
He was sentenced to 11 months plus 15 days to two years less one day in jail and two years consecutive probation. He was fined $1,520 and must pay more than $38,000 in restitution.
His co-defendant, Joseph D. McPherson, 50, Clearfield, pleaded guilty to similar charges in February of 2013. McPherson was sentenced to a total of three to six years in state prison.
Prior to sentencing, District Attorney William A. Shaw Jr. explained that Demi was pleading guilty but mentally ill. He suffered a stroke prior to jury selection for these cases. Demi’s attorney, Jeff DuBois, stated that Demio suffers from severe mental impairments and physical problems and was in a rehabilitation facility for a time.
Judge Fredric J. Ammerman noted that Demi had a lengthy prior record and announced “he’s a thief.” He said if not for the stroke, Demi would be looking at a lengthy state prison sentence. He warned him that if he had any violations during his probation he would be going to state prison and he “will be lucky to see the light of day” out of prison again.
According to the affidavits of probable cause, the crimes took place in July, August and September of 2012. On July 30 or 31, 2012, they removed several metal items from a coal stripping site in Woodward Township valued at $5,000. They allegedly sold the items for scrap, receiving $68.82.
Demi is charged with removing several bulldozer parts from a job site in Woodward Township on Aug. 2, 2012. The parts were valued at $8,000 but he received only $239 for selling them as scrap metal.
On Aug. 29, 2012, they stopped at a strip mine site in Penn Township where they gained access to a storage shed by prying open the door. They removed several items valued at $775. The next day, they sold the items at a local scrap company. Police were able to recover one of the items that had the coal company’s name on it.
Between Aug. 31, 2012 and Sept. 4, 2012, they broke the pad locks off two semi-boxed trailers and removed several items valued at $6,840 and caused $40 in damage at a strip mining site in Girard Township.
Between Sept. 2 and Sept. 9, 2012, they were at a camp in Pine Township where they removed four steel walkways, a metal fire ring and a trampoline from the property. These were valued at $3,000. The victim was later able to find the items at a local scrap yard. The business was able to identify McPherson as the one who was paid for the items and they said Demi was with him.
On Sept. 13, 2012, they entered three different camps in Goshen Township. From one of these removed a homemade steel cook pot valued at $200. From a second they removed several metal items valued at $173 and from a third they removed copper wire valued at $75.