News 8-31-22

A Duncansville woman who didn’t appear in court on Monday was still sentenced to three to six years in state prison, followed by three years’ probation by a Blair County judge. Tonya Koch was charged with possession with intent to deliver. She was nowhere to be found inside the courthouse on Monday. Koch’s prior record shows 14 prior arrests, eight convictions and one period of confinement.

A man faces multiple charges after he failed to stop for police in Altoona. Isaiah Shumac faces a felony charge of possession with intent to deliver, along with misdemeanor charges of fleeing or attempting to elude an officer, possessing a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia, and several summary charges. He was placed in Blair County Prison.

A Blair County man faces three felonies and four misdemeanors after allegedly burglarizing a Dollar General. Faraaj Houston was allegedly caught on surveillance cameras at the Lloyd Street Dollar General stuffing more than $1,400 of items into a garbage bag after breaking the glass on the front door, according to WTAJ. He was remanded to the Blair County Prison.

A wrongful death federal lawsuit was filed on behalf of the Estate of fallen Blair County Corrections Officer Rhonda Russell Tuesday. A lawsuit was filed against Blair County, the City of Altoona, employees from the Blair County Prison and other officials, as well as the estate of the Altoona officer who fatally shot Russell on Nov. 17, 2021. Russell’s estate is requesting a jury trial in the case. Russell’s estate is seeking an undisclosed amount of damages from the defendants.

A woman faces charges for injuring an officer while she was resisting arrest after trespassing at UPMC Altoona even after being discharged. Ashley Aurandt faces charges of aggravated assault with attempt to cause bodily injury, simple assault, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, harassment and smoking in prohibited areas.

Allegheny Township Police rescued a woman after she was trapped inside her home on Orangewood Drive in Altoona early Tuesday morning. The woman’s neighbor was sitting in a chair near a window when he noticed the fire. The homeowner suffered minor smoke inhalation. The cause of the fire is unknown at this time and an investigation is still ongoing.