Man armed with shotgun gets 3 to 18 months in jail
SUNBURY - A Coal Township man, who armed himself with a shotgun more than a year ago when Northumberland County adult probation officers came to his door with an arrest warrant for another person, was sentenced Monday to three to 18 months in county prison on an aggravated assault charge.
Northumberland County President Judge Robert B. Sacavage imposed the sentence on Michael D. Bramhall, 54, of 1119 W. Arch St., who was convicted Oct. 25 by a jury of aggravated assault and simple assault.
Bramhall also was ordered to pay a $300 fine plus costs and begin his jail sentence Jan. 28 unless he's granted appeal bail requested by his attorney, Greg Stuck of Northumberland.
The simple assault charge merged with the aggravated assault offense for sentencing purposes.
At the conclusion of his one-day trial, Bramhall, who remains free on bail, was placed on bail supervision that prohibits him from possessing any weapons or having contact with victims in the case.
County Assistant District Attorney Melissa Norton prosecuted the case at trial, while First Assistant District Attorney Ann Targonski represented the commonwealth at Monday's sentencing.
The defendant was charged by Coal Township Detective Jeff Brennan with threatening probation officers while holding a shotgun Nov. 16, 2011, at his residence, an incident that created tense moments for police and bystanders.
According to a criminal complaint, Brennan said police were called to assist Northumberland County probation officers with a man armed with a gun inside his home. Upon arrival, officers spoke with probation officer Dan Shoop, who said he, Matt Narcavage and Chris Kemble went to Bramhall's residence to speak with him about a female for whom they had an active warrant.
The probation officers went to the front door and identified themselves, but Bramhall said the door didn't open so they should meet him at the back door. After advising Bramhall that they were looking for the female and had a warrant, he asked to see the paperwork. He was told they didn't have the actual warrant in hand, but would get it.
The officers obtained a copy of the warrant and returned to Bramhall's back door. When he answered, police said Bramhall stood in the doorway holding a shotgun by its barrel with the butt of the gun on the floor. Officers told Bramhall they simply wanted to talk to him about the female and her whereabouts.
As they approached Bramhall, he allegedly told them, "Come on in and see what happens," and began to thump the butt of the gun on the floor. The probation officers retreated and called police.
Police from Coal Township and several neighboring departments responded. Some officers were seen holding shotguns and another had a riot shield. Brennan said once a Coal Township police officer approached the door, Bramhall was very cooperative. He said the scene was under control within 30 minutes.