Pa. sheriff heading to trial on threat charges

BEAVER, Pa. (AP) — A judge says a western Pennsylvania sheriff accused of threatening to cut a political campaign worker’s hands off and shoot an online news reporter should go to trial.

Judge Michael L. Gerheim heard nearly five hours of testimony Monday before agreeing most of the 11 charges against Beaver County Sheriff George David should go to trial.

A grand jury report says David delivered expletive-fueled rants and uttered a racial slur to his victims. It says he threatened to cut off and eat a campaign volunteer’s hands.

David denies the charges and remains in office because county officials are powerless to remove him and state legislators haven’t tried to.

He was arrested last month on charges including terroristic threats, witness intimidation and obstructing an investigation. Authorities say the charges stem from encounters since November 2011.

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