Tyrone teens accused of arson will be tried as juveniles

Two Tyrone teens accused of setting fire to Christ United Methodist Church on June 5 found out yesterday that they will be tried as juveniles.
The two male teenagers accused of setting several fires within the church had been released back to their parents and were to appear before Judge Elizabeth Doyle last month for a certification hearing to determine if they would be tried as adults or in the juvenile system.
John Dively, deputy director of the Blair County Juvenile Probation office, told The Daily Herald in a previous article that the case was continued until August because attorney Steven Passarello, who represents one of the teens, had a scheduling conflict.
The teens appeared yesterday before Judge John Reilly in Hollidaysburg, who ruled the teens would be tried in juvenile court.
According to Blair County District Attorney Dave Gorman, one of the teens turned 18 just days after the fire. The other suspect is a 16-year-old boy. The names of the defendants have not been released since both were juveniles at the time of the incident.
Dr. Dennis Reedy, pastor at the Christ United Methodist Church, previously told The Daily Herald that cleanup and restoration of the church’s educational unit is progressing “exceptionally well.”
He said the church is using Belfor, a company he described as the world’s largest firm involved in cleanups after a disaster. The church decided to refurbish the educational unit first and the more-heavily damaged sanctuary later.
Plans call for the educational unit to be reopened by the end of the month. Currently, the church is holding services at the old chapel at Epworth Manor. Earlier this month, church administrative assistant, Sue O’Brien said, once the educational unit is ready, the plan is to hold services there while the sanctuary work is being completed. Church school activities would also be held in the education unit.