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Alleged threat leads to more court security

Hearing ends with charges dismissed after three women refuse to testify in case.

WILKES-BARRE – Luzerne County Sheriff Michael A. Savokinas and two deputies provided extra security at Central Court on Thursday because of an alleged threat directed at a woman involved in an assault case.

The case began with the arrest of Clarence Harvey, 35, who was accused by Plains Township police of using a handgun to threaten three women on Dec. 14.

Harvey, of Wilkes-Barre, had his preliminary hearing in Central Court on Thursday.

“A general threat was made; it was very vague,” Savokinas said. “The victim obviously felt it was made to her.”

Once the threat was determined to be unfounded, security returned to normal at Central Court, which is staffed by a lone security officer.

Police charged Harvey after three women – Kerry Conahan, Jessica Watkins and Christine Conahan – claimed he threatened them with a handgun and prevented them from leaving a Scott Street home.

It wasn’t clear which of the women received the more recent alleged threat.

The women told police, according to arrest records, that they were “hanging out in the attic” of the home after a night out at a township bar.

While in the attic, the women alleged, Harvey and another unknown man became agitated and started pacing, blaming them for stealing a magazine clip to Harvey’s handgun, according to arrest records.

Harvey pulled a pistol out of his pocket and aimed it at the women, saying “he had one bullet in the chamber for someone if he didn’t get his clip back,” arrest records say.

Watkins alleged that Harvey pulled her hair and put the pistol to her face, threatening to shoot her.

Police arrived at the home to investigate a disturbance.

Harvey and the other man escaped out the back door and were chased by officers. Harvey was captured after he was found hiding under a pickup truck. The other man escaped, according to arrest records.

During Thursday’s hearing, the women refused to testify against Harvey, forcing a district judge to dismiss three counts each of aggravated assault, simple assault, reckless endangerment, terroristic threats, and one count each of criminal mischief and firearms not to be carried without a license against Harvey.

After the hearing, Harvey was requested to remain in Central Court allowing the three women to leave.

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