Charges filed in Gardner Hill Church incident

WEEDVILLE. – On the morning of Oct. 26, it was discovered that the Gardner Hill Community Church in Weedville had been vandalized overnight. During that incident, a table and stereo were taken and a dead deer was left inside the church. The incident was subsequently investigated by the Pennsylvania State Police and Pennsylvania Game Commission and charges were filed against five individuals through District Judge Wilhelm's office on Dec. 12. According to an affidavit of probable cause obtained by The Daily Press from District Judge Wilhelm's office, the individuals facing charges related to the incident are Haley Elizabeth Heindl, 19, of Houston, Texas; Martin Andrew Chicola, 22, of St. Marys; Brandon Charles Ott, 19, of St. Marys; Bradley Alan VanVoorhis, 19, of Weedville; and John Paul Gier, 23, of St. Marys.The affidavit of probable cause was filed by Trooper Ronald E. Chewning, a member of the Troop C Pennsylvania State Police Ridgway Barracks, who was assigned to investigate the burglary on Oct. 26. In the affidavit, Chewning reported that "upon arrival [at the church], I found that the church had been broken into, items were missing and others damaged, as well as there being a dead deer lying in the front of the church. Through the actors' process of dragging the deer into the church, bodily fluids had leaked onto the floor, causing damage to the carpet." Chewning acknowledged in the report that it was an anonymous tip which provided PSP with the names of those responsible for the damages. According to Chewning, "PSP Ridgway Tpr. Monty Mitchell and Pa. Game Commission Wildlife Conservation Officer Doty McDowell conducted interviews of those individuals, who also provided written statements as to their actions in the hours between 1 and 6 a.m. on Oct. 26. From those interviews, it was concluded that the actors included Martin Andrew Chicola, John Paul Gier, Bradley Alan VanVoorhis, Brandon Charles Ott and Haley Elizabeth Heindl."