CLEARFIELD – A Philipsburg man found guilty recently of theft for not completing a construction project was in court Tuesday asking to be released from jail.
Brian T. Barton, 46, 525 E. Spruce St., Philipsburg, was found guilty of theft by deception, theft by failure to make required disposition of funds, home improvement fraud-false or misleading statement and home improvement fraud-receiving advanced payment after a trial in February. Afterward, his bail was revoked and he was taken to jail to await sentencing.
On Tuesday Barton’s attorney, Brian Jones asked President Judge Fredric J. Ammerman to reduce his bail so he could be released. Currently his bail is set at $50,000, unsecured.
Jones stated that Barton was not a danger to anyone and he was not a flight risk.
Assistant District Attorney Ryan Dobo, who was representing the commonwealth, agreed that Barton has always appeared in court as required but added that he was found guilty of three felony charges.
He could be sentenced to state prison, which would be a reason to not show up for court. He also was concerned that if he was released Barton could “do the same thing.”
Ammerman commented that there was some risk of flight but the reason he said he revoked Barton’s bail in February was because he had a reason to believe Barton would victimize someone else in the same way. Ammerman then denied the motion.
Barton is scheduled to be sentenced April 5.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, the victim entered into a contract with Barton Contracting that was signed on Sept. 8, 2013. The work was to be completed by May of 2014 for a total cost of $90,000. The project was an addition to the current building of two bedrooms and a bathroom on the first level of the house as well as an expansion to the kitchen.
The victim paid him a total of $70,000. He did not complete the work as agreed or return the money.