Plea deal resolves Altoona gun case | Information, Sports activities, Jobs

HOLLIDAYSBURG — An Altoona man found at his residence in 2017 with a stockpile of weapons, ammunition and body armor has rendered no contest pleas to three related offenses, including one that prevents him from owning or possessing a gun in the future.

Wayne Alan Curfman, 41, rendered the pleas Tuesday in Blair County Court where he was scheduled for a two-day jury trial on 10 counts of firearm possession violations.

In exchange for dropping those 10 counts, Curfman pleaded no contest to possessing a firearm with an obliterated serial number, possession of a controlled substance and recklessly endangering another person. Those three charges and additional charges were to be considered during a second jury trial to be scheduled later this year for Curfman.

President Judge Elizabeth Doyle, who accepted Curfman’s pleas, acknowledged that the 30 charges filed against him in connection with a Jan. 4, 2017, incident, were previously divided so they could be considered during separate trials, without prejudice to Curfman.

When she asked Curfman if he desired to dispose of all pending charges by rendering no contest pleas to three offenses, Curfman said yes.

“We got a plea to the charge that was most important,” Assistant District Attorney Derek Elensky said after court in reference to the possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number.

“He can never own or possess a firearm in the future,” Elensky said.

Doyle acknowledged that achievement as a reason why she accepted the last-minute plea while summoned jurors waited in a room outside the courtroom.

She and Elensky also acknowledged that the plea resolved the trial about to start and the future trial.

In exchange for the pleas, Doyle imposed the recommended state sentence of one to two years’ incarceration, followed by five years’ probation. Curfman, who remains incarcerated in a state prison for drug and firearm offenses, gets no credit for time served, so his new sentence started Tuesday, based on the negotiated plea.

Defense attorney Thomas M. Dickey said Tuesday that he was ready to defend his client during this week’s jury trial that was slated to focus on the large stash of weapons found Jan. 4, 2017, in Curfman’s apartment on the 400 block of 19th Street.

On Jan. 4, 2017, Altoona police were summoned to Curfman’s apartment about 1:30 a.m. by a neighbor who reported confronting Curfman about his loud music. In response, the neighbor said Curfman discharged an assault rifle.

Responding officers noticed and seized Curfman’s guns, including several assault weapons, ammunition, Kevlar helmets and body armor. Those items, along with cash and marijuana, were seized after police secured a search warrant.

Dickey didn’t offer a reason for Curfman’s stockpile but claimed that his client had legal possession of the guns that were to be the focus of this week’s trial.

“With legal possession, it doesn’t matter if he owns 1,000 guns or 10,000 guns,” Dickey said.

Elensky said he would disagree that Curfman had legal ownership of those guns and was prepared to convince the jury otherwise. Altoona police officers were also in court to provide testimony and evidence.

Mirror Staff Writer Kay

Stephens is at 814-946-7456.

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