Beaver County sheriff placed on house arrest

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The Beaver County sheriff must give up his 700 guns and stay at home on GPS monitoring after a judge said he violated his bond conditions last month.

George David, 67, is awaiting trial on charges of threatening a reporter and a campaign worker.

At a bond violation hearing Monday, Judge Francis Fornelli ordered the sheriff to be placed on house arrest and surrender his collection of weapons, kept in a vault on his 67-acre Hopewell property.

Witnesses said that on March 24, Sheriff David went to the criminal side of the sheriff's office and retrieved a rifle from the armory.

Under the terms of his bond, he wasn't allowed to be in that part of the office and wasn't supposed to handle any guns in the courthouse.

His lawyer, Lee Rothman, said his client wasn't thinking and didn't intend to violate his bond conditions.

But prosecutors said this was the third time he had violated conditions governing his conduct pending trial, and the judge said if it happens again he'll put the sheriff in jail.

Sheriff David was ordered to turn over his weapons, some of them reportedly valuable antiques, to Mr. Rothman under supervision of the state police. Mr. Rothman isn't to tell his client where the guns will be stored.

The judge said the sheriff won't be allowed to leave his property except for trips to church and to medical appointments.

Sheriff David is awaiting trial on charges of intimidation, assault, terroristic threats and other offenses.

State troopers arrested him in March 2013 after a campaign worker said Sheriff David threatened to cut his hands off and eat them and an online reporter said the sheriff pulled his service weapon and threatened to shoot him.

The trial is scheduled to start June 30 with jury selection.

Torsten Ove: or 412-263-1510. First Published April 15, 2014 9:57 AM

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