By Francis Scarcella
The Daily Item
NORTHUMBERLAND — Romantic and family ties may jeopardize the prosecution of a sexual assault case investigated by Point Township policeman Wade Lytle, who became romantically involved with the alleged victim, who is the cousin of Chief Josh VanKirk.
Lytle has been placed on paid administrative leave after he told VanKirk that he had become romantically involved with the woman who reported the alleged crime to her cousin.
The disclosure triggered a cascade of concerns about potential conflicts of interest, including the fact that the alleged victim was a relative of the police chief, who passed the case to Lytle.
Lytle in March arrested Benjamin Scheller, 34, of 129 Reagan St., Sunbury. Lytle reported Scheller brandished a silver semi-automatic handgun, zip-tied the woman to a chair and sexually assaulted her.
VanKirk, who learned of his cousin’s relationship with his underling in the past two weeks, met Tuesday with Point Township supervisors and recommended the board fire Lytle because he put the municipality at risk of potential lawsuits and jeopardized the criminal case against Scheller, documents said.
Read more of this story in Thursday’s edition of The Daily Item.
Point Twp. chief’s underling, cousin date after sex-assault investigation
By Francis Scarcella
- Breaking News
Man dives under fair train, dies
Three hundred yards into its first trip of the day at the Iron Heritage Festival, an eight-car North Shore Railroad excursion train loaded with hundreds of passengers struck and killed a 21-year-old transient who a witness says dived under a baggage car.
Montour County Coroner Scott E. Lynn ruled the death as a suicide and said he would not release the man’s identity until he had notified relatives.
Sunbury police investigate shooting
Sunbury and other area police departments were investigating a report of shots fired in the 100 block of Fairmount Avenue at 11:10 p.m. Sunday. Further information was not immediately available.
- Chuck Noll, 4-time Super Bowl winner with Steelers, dies at 82
Former Lewisburg resident Harry Carlip murdered in Florida
FORT MYERS, Fla. — A former Valley resident and his fiancee were shot and killed last week, days before their wedding, leaving a well known Lewisburg woman and her two children stunned.
Judge: Miranda Barbour will face the death penalty
SUNBURY — A Northumberland County judge today denied a defense request to take the death penalty off the table if murder suspect Miranda Barbour is convicted of first-degree murder.
Rock slide closes Route 147 south of Sunbury
SUNBURY -- A rock slide on Route 147 at Brush Valley Road, south of Sunbury, closed the highway at 8:55 p.m. Sunday. Emergency crews were heading to the scene.
Hunt for city fugitive ends
A hunt for a city man ended this morning when Brian Badman turned himself in to authorities at approximately 9:30 a.m., Sheriff Bob Wolfe confirmed. The search began Monday when Brian Badman, 29, walked out of the Northumberland County Courthouse prior to being sentenced Monday.
Nesbit selected for Midd-West board
MIDDLEBURG -- The Midd-West school board Monday selected Christopher Nesbit to fill the vacant seat on the board.
- Gunman kills 3, wounds 16 at Fort Hood Army base
Firefighters battle midnight blaze in Danville
DANVILLE — Firefighters rushed to a midnight fire at a house along DL&W Avenue early Wednesday morning.
- More Breaking News Headlines
- Man dives under fair train, dies