Ash­land man gets prison for at­tempted mur­der

The Republican Herald - - OBITUARIES/COURT/POLICE - BY PETER E. BORT­NER STAFF WRITER con­tact the writer: pbort­ner@re­pub­li­can­her­; 570-628-6014

POTTSVILLE — Harold J. McGurl Jr. is headed to state prison af­ter a Schuylkill County judge sen­tenced him on Wed­nes­day for try­ing to kill an­other man in Oc­to­ber 2016 in his home­town.

McGurl, 45, of Ash­land, must serve 10 to 20 years in a state cor­rec­tional in­sti­tu­tion, Judge Jac­que­line L. Rus­sell de­cided.

“There’s a great need for re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion for the pro­tec­tion of so­ci­ety,” Rus­sell said. “This is a vi­o­lent of­fense.”

Af­ter a two-day trial over which Rus­sell presided, a jury of nine men and three women con­victed McGurl on April 3 of at­tempted first-de­gree mur­der, reck­lessly en­dan­ger­ing an­other per­son and two counts each of ag­gra­vated as­sault and sim­ple as­sault.

State po­lice at Frackville al­leged McGurl stabbed and slashed Jor­dan Adams with a knife in the early morn­ing hours of Oct. 8, 2016, on Spruce Street in Ash­land. Adams tes­ti­fied dur­ing the trial that he suf­fered 10 to 12 stab wounds and was taken to Geisinger Medical Cen­ter, Danville, for emer­gency surgery.

Pros­e­cu­tors also main­tained that McGurl was up­set with Adams’ brother, Shane Parker, and at­tacked Adams af­ter see­ing him in Parker’s car. They also said he fled the scene by run­ning into the woods af­ter as­sault­ing Adams.

McGurl, who wore a prison jumpsuit, leg shack­les, hand­cuffs and a belt dur­ing Wed­nes­day’s 25-minute hear­ing, ex­pressed re­morse for what he had done.

“I’d like to apol­o­gize to ev­ery­body,” he said. “I’ve never had a vi­o­lent of­fense in my life.”

How­ever, Rus­sell said the lat­ter state­ment does not give a full pic­ture of McGurl’s past.

“You have a quite ex­ten­sive crim­i­nal record,” she told the de­fen­dant. “You have some felonies in your record.”

Fur­ther­more, Rus­sell said, the ev­i­dence showed McGurl as­saulted Adams with­out provo­ca­tion and used a deadly weapon against him. “I don’t see” mit­i­ga­tion, she said. Jeffrey M. Markosky, Ma­hanoy City, McGurl’s lawyer, said he would talk with his client be­fore de­cid­ing whether to file an ap­peal. Other­wise, he de­clined to com­ment on the sen­tence or any other as­pect of the case.

In ad­di­tion to the prison term, Rus­sell also sen­tenced McGurl to pay costs, $50 to the Crim­i­nal Jus­tice En­hance­ment Ac­count and $76,363.63 resti­tu­tion to Aetna In­sur­ance Co., un­dergo drug and al­co­hol and men­tal health eval­u­a­tions, have no con­tact with Adams and sub­mit a DNA sam­ple to law en­force­ment au­thor­i­ties.

DaVID mCKe­oWn / STaff pho­Tog­ra­pher

Harold J. McGurl Jr., left, Ash­land, is es­corted April 2 into the Schuylkill County Court­house by Sher­iff Deputy Ger­ard Da­ley for McCurl’s trial for try­ing to kill Jor­dan Adams on Oct. 8, 2016, in Ash­land.

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