By Karen Blackledge

The Danville News

DANVILLE — A Philadelphia man found guilty in absentia of a December 2006 riot at North Central Secure Treatment Unit has been apprehended.

Montour County District Attorney Robert Buehner Jr. said Blaine Twyman was apprehended in Lackawanna County during the weekend.

Buehner said Tuesday the arrest was a cooperative effort among state police, the U.S. Marshal Service and Montour County Sheriff Ray Gerringer.

Reached Tuesday afternoon, Gerringer said he received the call about Twyman being picked up at about 10:30 p.m. Saturday. He said Twyman has been committed to the Montour County Jail.

Gerringer expects to receive a report today from state police on the details of the apprehension.

Twyman was found guilty of four felony-2 counts of aggravated assault, five misdemeanor-2 counts of simple assault, riot and obstructing government functions.

Twyman was in court Dec. 8 when the jury was chosen. Twyman was free on bail at the time and failed to show up for the trial held Dec. 15 and 16.

Columbia-Montour Counties President Judge Scott Naus decided to proceed with the trial because Twyman was represented by able counsel, Greg Morrow, and witnesses were prepared to testify, Buehner said at the time.

The jury took 25 minutes to reach a verdict.

Laron Anderson, also of Philadelphia and charged in the riot, pleaded guilty to five counts of aggravated assault and was sentenced by Naus to 5 to 10 years in a state prison.

After the verdict, Naus issued a bench warrant for Twyman's arrest and his cash bail was forfeited.

The riot at the maximum security juvenile detention center in Mahoning Township was reported to have started when Anderson, then 18, was given an extra peanut butter and jelly sandwich in the center's Green Building.

After a staff member tried to convince him to get rid of the extra sandwich, a fight started and a riot followed. Twyman was 20 at the time.

Five of the witnesses testifying at the trial were staff victims and three other witnesses testified they observed Twyman strike one or more of the five victims. Most of the victims missed work for several weeks following the riot.

E-mail comments to kblackledge@thedanvillenews.com.

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