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Judge picked to hear Beaver County Sheriff George David's criminal case

| Friday, April 12, 2013, 12:15 p.m.

A retired Armstrong County district judge will preside over Beaver County Sheriff George David's preliminary hearing on charges he threatened a reporter with his service revolver and told a campaign volunteer he would cut off his hands and eat them.

The state Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts assigned Senior District Judge Michael L. Gerheim to decide whether David should stand trial on 11 misdemeanor charges, including making terroristic threats, simple assault, official oppression and obstruction of justice. State police charged David on March 25 based on a grand jury presentment.

His hearing is scheduled for 1 p.m. April 29 in the Beaver County Courthouse. David remains free on bail and at work because county officials said they could not ban him from the courthouse while court proceedings continue.

Beaver County President Judge John D. McBride recused the county's district judges and Common Pleas judges from David's case because of the ties between the sheriff and court system. Sheriff's deputies provide security for the courthouse and in courtrooms and provide other court services, including serving warrants.

McBride last year recused the court from civil proceedings in which county commissioners sought a court order to stop David from providing private security at high school sporting events, a movie theater, department stores and other places. That case remains on appeal.

Bill Vidonic is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5621 or bvidonic@tribweb.com.

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