3 fugitives added to county's wanted list
Butler Eagle
Written by:
April 13, 2011
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Michael Magill

Among the new fugitives added to the Butler County sheriff's office most wanted list is a Lyndora man accused of burning a 1-year-old girl.

James R. Hutchinson, 23, failed to show up for a status conference court date in February, leading to a new warrant for his arrest. A trial date would have been set at that hearing.

Hutchinson faces charges of aggravated assault, endangering the welfare of a child, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person and two counts of harassment.

According to an affidavit filed by Butler Township police, Hutchinson on July 7 allegedly admitted to his girlfriend that he burned her 1-year-old daughter with an electronic device charger.

Police reported the girl, who was treated at Butler Memorial Hospital, had burns on her face, abdomen, arms, legs and feet.

Chief Deputy Mark Peffer said the seriousness of the offense prioritizes the search for Hutchinson.

“It was an intentional act,” he said.

Hutchinson originally faced charges of terroristic threats and intimidation of a witness for allegedly threatening the victim's 4-year-old sister.

However, those two charges later were dismissed.

Another defendant added to the most wanted list is an Ellwood City man accused of being one member of a trio who allegedly burglarized a tire store in Zelienople.

Michael R. Magill Jr., 31, failed to show up for a call of the list hearing in February.

Magill is charged with burglary, criminal trespass, criminal conspiracy, 154 counts of theft and 154 counts of receiving stolen property.

According to an affidavit filed by Zelienople police, Magill was one of three men on Aug. 18 who allegedly stole $2,000 worth of items, including tires, steel wheels and rotors.

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Kevin Sickel

The third newcomer to the wanted list is an Armstrong County man accused of stealing supplies from his employer and selling the items as a contractor.

Kevin Sickel, 53, was an employee at the Home Improvement Center in Butler, where the thefts occurred in 2006.

Peffer, who was a sergeant for Butler police then, handled the case.

He said Sickel also allegedly was scamming his contracting customers, performing shoddy or incomplete work.

Peffer said now is the time for people to be on the lookout for Sickel as the spring construction season has arrived.

“If his previous behavior is any indication, I'd have reason to be concerned about him continuing his behavior,” Peffer said.

All the suspects on the sheriff's most wanted list have failed to show up for some type of court hearing.

Typically, defendants accused or convicted of the most serious crimes are incarcerated.

“We're not the entity that holds those warrants,” Peffer said.

However, those involved in cases ranging from assaults to burglaries are free on bail. Other people scheduled for hearings are serving probation.

Once these defendants are in the court system, they fall under the purview of the sheriff's office.

“We acquire all of the bench warrants for every municipality,” Peffer said.

Sheriff Mike Slupe's office still is looking for these seven people who were among the original 10 fugitives on the most wanted list.

• Tiffany Ann Edinger, 29, formerly of Kittanning, in a 2006 case pleaded guilty to corruption of minors as part of a plea agreement.

“We have reason to believe she's in Butler County,” Peffer said.

• Kenya B. Grant, 30, of Wilkinsburg is wanted for missing a hearing dealing with 2006 charges of drug possession and illegal possession of a firearm.

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James Hutchinson

• John Roccia, 39, of Washington, Pa., was originally charged with two felony counts of forgery and three counts of writing bad checks.

• Robert K. Henry, 42, of Chicora was originally charged with felony drug possession. He has five outstanding warrants.

• David E. Sykes, 53, whose last known address was in Ohio, in 2007 pleaded guilty to numerous crimes, including burglary and simple assault.

In December 2006, he was arrested for allegedly robbing a woman at gunpoint. There are at least five warrants out on Sykes dating back to 2000.

• Bobby J. Gaston, 52, of Pittsburgh was originally charged with aggravated assault in 1998. He has an extensive criminal record.

• Nityanand Gopalika, 31, formerly of State College is a suspected child predator.

He was arrested during an Internet sex sting by the state attorney general's Child Predator Unit and charged with having unlawful contact with minors.

Gopalika failed to appear at his preliminary hearing in Cranberry Township after posting bail earlier that month.

Although federal immigration officials reported Gopalika fleeing the country in July 2009, authorities can't rule out that he will return.

Of the original 10 most wanted, deputies have located three people.

Thomas Bergbigler, formerly of Butler, whose original offenses included burglary and theft, started making court-ordered payments in November.

Michael Juliano, formerly of Butler, and Sara Lynn Bachman, also of Butler, were located in Florida.

Juliano's offenses included assault and burglary. Bachman was originally charged with felony drug possession.

Anyone with information about the whereabouts of people with outstanding warrants, including those willing to turn themselves in, should call the sheriff's office at 724-284-5245 or the warrant intel number at 724-290-5262.

Slupe said his office has been receiving calls about the locations of defendants.

“The diligence of our deputies in obtaining information from the public is a great asset in helping to locate certain individuals,” he said.