Court Security

Judge Dismisses Case Against Inmate Accused of Threatening Prosecutors

A Pennsylvania state court judge has dismissed criminal charges against an inmate accused of harassing and threatening the prosecutors who put him behind bars on a parole violation concerning an earlier stalking conviction.

Although Judge William Furber Jr. believed that David Thomas Petko, 48, did in fact make the comments he is accused of making to fellow inmates, he said he dismissed the Montgomery County case, after wrestling with the law, because he doubted that Petko intended to threaten, reports the Pottstown Mercury.

Petko reportedly may have blamed Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli and former Northampton Assistant District Attorney Jacqueline Taschner for the death of his ailing father, for whom he was the primary caregiver, while Petko was in prison.

Taschner also said she was disturbed to receive a valentine from Petko while he was an inmate of the State Correctional Institution at Graterford in Skippack.

Attorney Douglas Breidenbach Jr. represented Petko. He tried to cast doubt on the accuracy of the inmate testimony against his client and also argued that any comments made by Petko were merely “bluster.”

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