Punxsy Man Accused of Cutting Trees on Neighbor’s Property Waives Hearing

JEFFERSON CO., Pa. (EYT) – A Punxsutawney man waived his hearing on Wednesday on criminal charges from an incident where he reportedly cut down two trees on his neighbor’s property.

Court documents indicate the following charges against 31-year-old Brandon Edward James were waived for court on April 7:

– Theft by Unlawful Taking-Movable Property, Misdemeanor 2
– Agricultural Trespasser Posted Land, Misdemeanor 3
– Criminal Mischief – Damage Property, Summary

The charges have been transferred to the Jefferson County Court of Common Pleas.

James remains free on $5,000.00 unsecured bail.

The charges stem from an incident reported in Bell Township in late November of 2020.

Details of the case:

According to a criminal complaint, on November 21, a known victim contacted Punxsutawney-based State Police to report that a neighbor, identified as Brandon James, had cut two trees on his property in Bell Township, Jefferson County.

The victim reported James had purchased the neighboring property over the summer. He noted that he had his property surveyed approximately a month prior to the incident and had marked the property line with both signs and purple paint and had also personally shown the property line to James, the complaint states.

Police then spoke to James, who stated that the tree that was marked fell in a recent windstorm and damaged his SUV. However, when asked if he had any photos or insurance claims, he said he did not. Police did observe a dent on the front left fender of the vehicle, the complaint states.

James later stated it was only a limb that fell. He also reportedly admitted to cutting the tree down, according to the complaint.

James said the other stump was from a tree that was knocked over when he cut a tree on his own property and it fell onto the victim’s property.

When asked if he disagreed with the property line, James reportedly stated he did not but said he believes that he can “take care of the trees so may feet over the property line,” according to the complaint.

Police also noted a mark on the ground that the victim said he believed was a tire track. James reportedly told the victim there was “an old random railroad tie” that he had removed, the complaint indicates.

The charges were filed against James through Magisterial District Judge Jacqueline J. Mizerock’s office on December 18.

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