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Knecht's Bridge Burners Sentenced
Bucks County, PA, November 14, 2007 - The four arsonists responsible for firing Knecht's
Covered Bridge were sentenced today after their guilty pleas were accepted by Bucks County
Judge Albert Cepparulo.
Matthew J. Tearney, 19, of Trumbauersville, and a former volunteer fireman, received 11 1/2 to 23 months in county prison, followed by four years of probation during which he is to get a GED,
complete anger management and drug and alcohol treatment, and a full-time job.
Felicia M. Piepszowski, 20, of Pennsburg will serve six to 23 months in jail, followed by four years of probation during which she must take anger management classes.
Tomas J. Markley, 19, of Trumbauersville was sentenced to 18 months to three years in jail, followed by four years of probation during which he is to get a GED, complete anger management
and drug and alcohol treatment, and a full-time job.
Because he did not participate in the barn burning near an occupied dwelling, Randy G. Malady, 19, of Pottstown received a time-served to 23-month sentence. A former volunteer fireman, Malady
must serve three years of probation, complete an anger management course and get drug and
alcohol treatment, and full-time employment.
Each defendant was ordered to pay $7,362 in restitution and perform 250 hours of community service. A fifth defendant, Seventeen-year-old Hector Ross, was tried in juvenile court.
The arsonists first attempted to burn the bridge with fireworks, and then the following day, May 23, used hay bales. Fireworks and flares were used to start other fires during the week of the Knecht's Bridge
fire - they burned a woodpile and a barn in Milford, and a Dumpster in Quakertown. The bridge suffered
$40,000 in damage.
The four arsonists apologized for their crimes. Three of the four admitted to have been under the influence of drugs and alcohol at the time.
The 110-foot Knecht's brdge was built in Springfield in 1873 to span Cooks Creek using a Town truss. It is one of eleven covered bridges surviving in the county. A twelfth, Mood Bridge in East
Rockhill, was destroyed in 2004.
[This item is based on an article in PhillyBurbs.com found by VCBS Reporter Tom Keating]
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Joe Nelson, P.O Box 267, Jericho, VT 05465-0267
This file posted 11/19/2007