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Pancher pleads guilty



SUNBURY — A mental health evaluation was requested by President Judge Charles Saylor prior to the sentencing of a Coal Township man, who pleaded guilty Monday to charges related to him firing a gun and engaging in a standoff with police at his home in March.

Robert Pancher, 49, of 1506 Hill St., Coal Township, must also undergo a drug and alcohol assessment prior to appearing before Saylor again for sentencing. His plea and admission to committing a felony count of terroristic threats carries a maximum seven-year sentence and up to $15,000 in fines.

Assistant public defender Amy Stoak also asked that a home plan be assessed.

Pancher had been incarcerated following the March 14 incident, during which police responded to a call of shots fired at Pancher’s Ferndale residence. Pancher’s wife, Michelle, called the Northumberland County Dispatch Center before locking herself in a second floor bedroom with one of her sons.

The area was cordoned off by police and Michelle Pancher and her one sons were evacuated from the home with a ladder, while the other son escaped through a basement window.

Shortly after Mrs. Pancher and her sons were safe, police made entry into the home and found Robert Pancher inside a bedroom lying on a bed armed with a 9mm handgun. A shell casing from the handgun was recovered from the bedroom.

Pancher was arrested and charged by Detective Jeff Brennan with a felony of terroristic threats and misdemeanors of recklessly endangering another person and simple assault by allegedly placing his wife and sons in fear of imminent serious bodily injury by allegedly discharging the firearm.

Pancher was released from SCI-Coal Township on supervised bail with a condition of a mental health evaluation after waiving his right to a preliminary hearing on March 27. He was recommitted to SCI-Coal Township on $100,000 bail on April 4 after he allegedly violated a Protection From Abuse (PFA) order granted to his wife after the March 14 incident.