A Venango area man has pleaded no contest to charges he pointed a semi-automatic rifle at Pennsylvania State Police during an incident at a Cussewago Township home last March.
Jacob Pond was shot and wounded by two Pennsylvania State Police troopers during the early-morning March 8, 2019, incident which took place at the home of Pond’s father.
Pond entered no contest pleas to one count each of aggravated assault, terroristic threats and criminal mischief Thursday before Crawford County Court of Common Pleas President Judge John Spataro. He was scheduled to go on trial in county court during the January criminal trial term, which begins Monday.
In exchange for the no contest pleas, two additional counts of terroristic threats, two of simple assault and one other count of aggravated assault won't be prosecuted as part of a plea agreement with the Crawford County District Attorney's Office.
Police said Pond pointed an SKS semi-automatic rifle at officers during the incident, causing two of the troopers who had surrounded the home to fire. An investigation of the two troopers who fired on Pond found they were justified in doing so, Crawford County District Attorney Francis Schultz said.
According to the arrest affidavit, Pond appeared in the home’s open doorway, holding a rifle he had been seen with earlier, raised the rifle and pointed it at two troopers who then fired. The officers then rendered first aid to Pond.
The subsequent investigation into the shooting found a total of 13 shots were fired by police with Pond wounded once in his lower abdomen while another bullet had grazed one of Pond's thighs.
In pleading no contest, a person does not admit guilt but agrees there is enough evidence to convict if a trial were held. A no contest plea has the same effect for sentencing purposes as pleading guilty.
Pond faces up to 15 years and three months in jail and $35,300 in fines when he is sentenced by Spataro in March.
Pond remains lodged in the Crawford County jail in Saegertown in lieu of $30,000 bond.
Keith Gushard can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.