Man jailed for hammer attack, arson of ex-girlfriend’s house in Cheltenham

NARYSTOWN – An ex-boyfriend of a woman from Cheltenham goes to jail after he confessed to breaking into a woman’s house, threatening her brother with a hammer and setting fire to a residence after she ended their relationship.

43-year-old Stephen R. Osborne of 5,900 on North Fifth Street in Philadelphia was sentenced by a Montgomery County court to five to 10 years in a state penitentiary after pleading guilty to arson threatening individuals. assault and burglary. in connection with the incident in May 2020

Judge Wendy G. Rothstein, who accepted a plea agreement in the matter, said Osborne would be credited with the time he had spent in prison since January 2021 while he awaited trial. Osborne also has to pay $ 1,000 as restitution in connection with the case.

The investigation began around 7:20 p.m. on May 23, 2020, when Cheltenham police responded at a residence in the 100th quarter on Wilson Avenue, in the Glenside area, to a report of a man who smashed a back door with a hammer. and get into housing, according to the criminal case.

“Then the man smashed a large flat-screen TV with a hammer, and when he ran upstairs, he said he was going to light a fire,” police said in a statement on the arrest, adding that the second floor was engulfed in flames when several firefighters arrived to extinguish the fire. services.

On the bedroom floor in the house investigators found an empty container with liquid from a coal lighter and two lighters.

The woman, who lived in the house, who was Osborne’s ex-girlfriend, was not home at the time of the burglary and fire, but her brother and her teenage son were in the house at the time and were unharmed, police said.

The woman told police that during several phone conversations she ended her relationship with Osborne and that Osborne told her he was heading to her home, according to court documents. The woman called her brother and told him not to let Osborne into the residence, police said.

The woman’s brother told police that Osborne came into the house, knocked on the door and, when no one answered, went to the back of the house and knocked on the sliding glass door.

“There was a loud bang, and Osborne entered the interior of the residence, brandishing a hammer through the broken sliding glass door. When he entered, Osborne waved a hammer and asked (the woman’s brother) where his sister was, ”police said.

Osborne used a hammer to smash the big-screen TV, and struck the hammer in the head of the woman’s brother, who dived to avoid being hit and then fled the house. The woman’s son, who also fled the house, told police that Osborne said he was going to set fire to the residence, court records said.

The court documents do not specify the amount of damage caused by the fire.

Other charges of terrorist threats, negligent threats to others, simple assault and harassment were dropped from Osborne under a plea agreement.


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