CLEARFIELD – A jury found a Pike Township man guilty of obstructing Township Route 504 with a backhoe.
Chester Ogden, 83, was found guilty of after a jury deliberated for close to 45 minutes after nearly a full day of testimony. Ogden placed a backhoe and pile of dirt on that road on July 26, 2006.
A 1986 court decision ruled that TR 504 would connect township road 417 with a property owned by Lester and Betty Neeper – through property owned by Ogden – thereby making the road public.
Ogden mentioned a counter-suit multiple times during the trial. The judge noted that no documents had been filed in what could be a civil suit.
Ogden has spent the past 25 years fighting the road’s designation as public. To read a story about the trial’s earlier proceedings, click here.
Ogden hung his head as the jury’s decision was read. After the jury was excused Clinton County Judge J. Michael Williamson sentenced Odgen. Before he sentenced him, Ogden said that if the judge was going to sentence him, he should sentence him to death. Ogden appeared to be in disbelief of the jury’s verdict.
“The legal profession cleaned me out,” Ogden told the judge.
Williamson asked Ogden why, if he went to jail for 18 months for blocking the road in 1987, would he do it again.
“I own that property,” stated Ogden.
Williamson sentenced Ogden to one month to a year in Clearfield County Jail and ordered him to pay fines and costs. He also ordered that upon parole or release Ogden shall not block T-504 with any object. Williamson also said that if an appeal is filed Ogden shall be released pending the decision of the appeal.