Jury Finds Man Guilty for Pulling Gun on Police Officers
A Centre County jury found a 32-year-old man guilty Monday of 17 counts stemming from an incident during which he pulled a gun on police.
James Robert Scholl was found guilty on all 17 counts, including aggravated assault, attempt to put an officer in danger, resisting arrest and terroristic threats.
Centre County Common Pleas Judge Jonathan D. Grine will sentence Scholl May 8. Scholl also faces a firearm charge related to illegally possessing a firearm, which will be tried separately.
The charges stem from a Sept. 14 domestic incident involving Scholl's girlfriend at her home in Ferguson Township. Authorities say Scholl slapped the woman before grabbing a shoe and hitting her repeatedly. Scholl's girlfriend called 911 while Scholl continued cursing, yelling, and damaging her home, prosecutors say. The victim managed to get out of the house at which point Scholl locked the door behind her.
The victim also informed 911 dispatchers there was a firearm in the home and Scholl could potentially access the weapon.
Patton Township officer Brian Shaffer, Ferguson Township Sgt. Sean Albright and Ferguson Township officer William Chambers responded. Upon arrival, officers found Scholl locked inside the home with music playing loudly.
Authorities say Scholl saw police through a window and then grabbed and loaded the handgun. Next, Scholl opened the door and pointed the firearm at Chambers' head, prosecutors say. Chambers then grabbed the barrel of the gun as Scholl struggled to keep the gun pointed at the officer.
Scholl ignored officers' repeated commands to drop the gun and the officers fought to gain control of the firearm as Scholl pointed the weapon at all of them during the struggle, prosecutors say. Ultimately, officers drew their firearms and Taser before being able to pry the gun out of Scholl's hands.
Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller said in a prepared statement, "This was an extremely perilous situation for everyone involved. The Defendant forced these Officers to make life and death decisions in an instant and they responded with the utmost courage, restraint and professionalism. They saved the lives he endangered. We shall seek a sentence that reflects the magnitude of his actions."