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Yukon man accused of assault now charged with illegally possessing 40 firearms |

Yukon man accused of assault now charged with illegally possessing 40 firearms

Paul Peirce
| Monday, December 17, 2018 4:24 p.m

Forty handguns, shotguns and rifles — including an AR-15 — were removed from the home of a South Huntingdon man accused of physically and sexually assaulting a woman, state police in Belle Vernon said.

William F. Halbleib, 52, of Yukon was originally arrested by troopers Dec. 10 on charges of aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault, making terroristic threats and harassment. According to court documents filed with East Huntingdon District Judge Charles Moore, the woman alleged Halbleib abused and threatened to kill her over a three-day period, beginning Dec. 8.

Halbleib was arraigned Friday on 40 new criminal counts including illegal possession of a firearm and one count of receiving stolen property for allegedly possessing a stolen handgun.

According to court documents filed by Trooper Melinda Churney, the victim contacted police after Halbleib left to go to a bank and told her that when he returned he planned to shoot and burn her in a firepit behind his home.

The woman told police Halbleib said “her family would never find a trace of her.”

At an interview at Mon Valley Hospital in Carroll Township, Washington County, where she was treated, the woman reported she had recently moved in with Halbleib. According to police, she said “his behavior was getting crazy” and the two began arguing over Christmas tree decorations Dec. 8.

The woman told Churney that Halbleib burned the Christmas tree in the backyard firepit and continued to assault her over the weekend, until she could call for help.

The victim reported Halbleib kept numerous firearms in four safes inside his home. Police obtained a search warrant from Rostraver District Judge Charles Christner and opened the safes where the firearms were discovered with the assistance of a locksmith and the Rostraver Volunteer Fire Department. A large amount of ammunition also was seized during the search.

Churney said Halbleib has a felony drug-related conviction in Allegheny County in 2002 and he is not legally permitted to possess or own firearms.

A Glock .357 caliber handgun found in the home was reported stolen in Aurora, W.Va., in 2013, Churney said.

On Friday, Acting Senior District Judge Thomas S. Brletic of McKeesport increased Halbleib’s $5,000 bond originally set by Moore to $25,000. Halbleib was remanded to the Westmoreland County Prison pending a preliminary hearing Dec. 26.

Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at 724-850-2860, or via Twitter @ppeirce_trib.

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