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Mid-Mon Valley couple accused of initiating Charleroi stabbing incident sent to prison

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Thursday, July 3, 2014, 12:01 a.m.
 

A Mid-Mon Valley couple accused of initiating a stabbing incident last week at a Charleroi bar were sent to prison Wednesday morning when they were unable to post sizeable bonds.

Thomas G. Gentry, 30, of 546 Thompson Ave., Donora, and Rose M. Brown, 33, of 56 Marion Villa, Washington Township, turned themselves in to Charleroi Regional police Wednesday.

They were arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Larry Hopkins in Charleroi, and despite arguments by their attorney, were sent to the Washington County Correctional Facility in lieu of $150,000 and $100,000 cash bond respectively.

Police said another man accused of slashing Gentry with a box cutter — Terry Lee Newton Jr., 24, of 405 Tenth St. in Charleroi — had a bench warrant issued for his arrest on one charge of aggravated assault. Newton remained at large as of Wednesday evening.

Police said Gentry allegedly charged into the MD Bar at 731 McKean Ave. and used a folding knife to attack several people, including Newton, before the scuffle continued outside.

Police said Brown attempted to pull on the front door, keeping people from getting out. Police also said Brown tried preventing emergency personnel from tending to Gentry's wounds.

Brown and Gentry were represented by attorney Mark Shire of Monessen, who said the two are engaged to be married. Shire asked that both his clients be placed on either unsecured bond or released on their own recognizance.

Shire told the judge Brown is employed full-time and has five children. He said Gentry is a former Marine who works for his uncle at the House of Jackson Funeral Home in return for room and board and is taking college courses.

Shire also argued that Gentry suffered serious wounds during last week's incident, including a large cut on his abdomen that required staples.

Shire argued that Gentry had re-enlisted in the Army years ago, before he was convicted of rape and court martialed. Gentry has been on probation for the past two years and had already contacted his federal parole officer for the alleged stabbing, Shire said.

He noted that Brown's only prior criminal record was one charge of simple assault in 1999 that was withdrawn after she completed an anger management program.

Shire argued neither of his clients presents a flight risk and both met all the criteria for ROR or unsecured bond.

Hopkins quickly replied, “Unsecured is out. ROR is out,” adding that the two had allegedly left the bar, and instead of staying away, conspired to return and commit a violent act.

“I'm sure one of the conditions of (Gentry's) parole is that he stayed out of trouble,” Hopkins said. “This was a very serious incident and fortunately, nobody died. We'll look at circumstances during the preliminary hearing.”

After the arraignment, Shire said he thought the judge considered his facts, but “we had hoped for a better bond result.”

Police said Gentry and Brown started an argument with Newton and Chris Majors of Monessen inside the MD Bar because Gentry thought the men wanted to “get with” Brown. Police said bartender Connie Jericho ordered Gentry and Brown to leave just after 1:30 a.m. because the two refused to calm down.

Police said the couple returned five minutes later and Gentry forced his way into the bar as Donald Laughland, a patron and off-duty bartender, unlocked the door to allow another patron to leave. Police said Gentry sliced Laughland with a folding knife before charging into the bar.

Laughland, Newton and Majors then forced Gentry outside where Gentry reportedly slashed their arms and cut Majors in the face. Police said they found the blood-stained weapon lying outside a flower bed along the 800 block of Mc-Kean Avenue.

During the scuffle, police said Newton pulled out a box cutter and slashed Gentry in several places, including a large gouge along his waistline and both sides of his neck.

None of the injuries was life threatening.

Police said Brown was completely uncooperative with police and medical personnel following the fight, stating officers did not know who they were messing with and that she just received a $2 million settlement so money was no object.

Police said EMS workers attempted to treat a large gash on Brown's forearm, but she became more agitated and told them not to touch her.

Gentry was charged with aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, disorderly conduct, simple assault, having a prohibited offensive weapon, criminal mischief and conspiracy.

Brown was charged with obstructing emergency services, disorderly conduct, conspiracy and public drunkenness.

Both have preliminary hearings scheduled for 9 a.m. July 10 before Hopkins.

Rick Bruni Jr. is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at rbruni@tribweb.com or 724-684-2635.

 

 
 


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