CLEARFIELD COUNTY - A Clearfield County woman, Deana Nevel, and another person allegedly set her ex-husbands home on fire in an attempt to kill him because Nevel wanted custody of her children.
Tuesday charges were filed for attempted murder by arson.
Nevel and the coconspirator are currently each in the Clearfield County Jail on 1 million dollars straight bail.
Your News Leader will have more on this story as the information is available.
It appears, Nevel may have also lit her ex- father in laws home on fire because it was ready for her ex-husband and the four children to move into.
District Attorney William Shaw Jr. put out this release:
CLEARFIELD - Clearfield County District Attorney, William A. Shaw, Jr., announced today
that charges have been filed against two individuals in relation to an attempted murder and two
arsons in Clearfield County.
Shaw identified the defendants as Deanna Nevel, age 30, of Trolley Street, Winburne,
Pennsylvania, and Hilmer Harris, age 20, of Loch Lomond Road, Philipsburg, Pennsylvania.
On April 9, 2012, Corporal Charles Gross of the Pennsylvania State Police, Punxsutawney
Barracks, filed Criminal Complaints charging Nevel and Harris with: 1) Criminal Attempt to
Commit Murder, 3 Counts; 2) Criminal Conspiracy to Commit Murder, 6 Counts; 3) Criminal
Attempt to Commit Criminal Homicide, 3 Counts; 4) Criminal Conspiracy to Commit Criminal
Homicide, 6 Counts; 5) Arson, F1/F2, 4 Counts; 6) Criminal Conspiracy to Commit Arson,
F1/F2, 2 Counts; and 7) Recklessly Endangering Another Person, M2, 3 Counts.
An Affidavit of Probable Cause filed with the complaints provides that in November 2010 the
Pennsylvania State Police began an investigation into an arson that occurred at the Baney Trailer
Park in Decatur Township. Upon investigation, it was found that on November 3, 2010, a mobile
home located at 116 Baney Road was intentionally set on fire. At the time of the fire, the mobile
home was occupied by Phyllis Witherite, Michael Maines, and James Nevel. All three occupants
escaped the fire unharmed.
Additionally, it was found that there was a second fire on November 3, 2010, at a two-story
residence located in Boggs Township. The residence was owned by William Nevel, the father of
James Nevel. It was found that the structure was also intentionally set on fire, and there were no
occupants inside at the time of its ignition.
Upon further investigation by the State Police, it was found that Deanna Nevel, Hilmer Harris,
and another individual were involved in the planning and starting of the two fires. Police reports
indicate that the fires were set in an effort to kill James Nevel because he had filed court
documents seeking custody of children that James Nevel has with Deanna Nevel.
Shaw stated that both Nevel and Harris were picked up by the State Police and taken to District
Magisterial judge Jerome Nevling for a preliminary arraignment.
Nevling set bail at $1,000,000.00 each for both Nevel and Harris who remain incarcerated in the Clearfield County
jail. Preliminary hearings for both Nevel and Harris are set for April 18, 2012.
Shaw thanked the Pennsylvania State Police for their hard work and assistance with this case.