Elk County

FORCE — An Elk County man has been accused of making terroristic threats to a witness in his grandson’s burglary case.

Richard Alan Merat, 72, 17667 Bennetts Valley Hwy., Force is charged with intimidation of a witness, retaliation against a witness, and terroristic threats.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, a woman called state police around 2 p.m. May 16 saying that she had spoken to Merat when he informed her of an article in the newspaper in which the victim was credited with giving police information in a burglary investigation involving Dylan Joseph Carnahan, 23, Weedville.

Carnahan is charged with pilfering 12 storage units and attempting to sell the items inside for cash, including a coin collection, large trunk, and a snow blower, according to court records.

Carnahan is Merat’s grandson, as well as the nephew of the woman who came forward with information to the police.

Merat reportedly threatened the witness’ life multiple times while talking to the woman who called police about his actions.

Merat also said that the victim should have come to him instead of the police so that he could have “buried the evidence so that Carnahan would not have gotten into trouble,” according to the affidavit.

Merat was held for two days in the Elk County Prison on $25,000 monetary bail before it was posted and he was released.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 3:15 p.m. June 12 at the office of District Judge Mark Jacob in St. Marys.

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