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Charges against Springfield man held for court

| Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

A Springfield Township man who allegedly forced his way into a Bullskin business and threatened the owner was ordered to stand trial in Fayette County Court.

About 4 a.m. Oct. 11, Keith Wayne Nicholson, 38, of 161 Laws Road, Normalville, forced his way into Martin Auto Wreckers by prying the door of the business open, according to the criminal complaint.

Martin Halfhill, the owner of the business, received a phone call from his son, who reportedly heard Nicholson arriving at the business on his ATV and saw Nicholson make his way into the building.

Testifying during Nicholson's preliminary hearing on Thursday, Halfhill said he grabbed his gun and drove to his business, where he entered to find Nicholson inside holding two wrenches in one hand and a flashlight in the other hand.

According to testimony, Halfhill told Nicholson he had a gun and told him to stop what he was doing, but Nicholson didn't comply. He and Halfhill struggled until Halfhill wrestled Nicholson to the ground and waited for police to arrive.

Trooper Lucas Borkowski testified that he arrived and placed Nicholson, who wouldn't obey commands, in custody. Borkowski added that the business' door appeared to have been pried open.

Borkowski said Nicholson had tools valued at as much as $500 that belonged to an employee of the business in saddlebags on the ATV.About 6 p.m. the same day, Halfhill testified, he received a phone call from a number unknown to him.

“He said, ‘If you want me, I'm ready for you. I'll be on Rich Hill,' ” Halfhill said. When he asked the person on the other line whether he was the guy who broke into his garage, the voice on the other line said, “You know it is.”

Halfhill said he took a photo of the number on the caller ID and called police.

District Judge Ronald Haggerty Jr. held all charges for Common Pleas Court. A formal arraignment was scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Dec. 19 in Courtroom 3 of the Fayette County Courthouse.

Nicholson is free on $10,000 bond.

Mark Hofmann is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-626-3539 or mhofmann@tribweb.com.

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