Bradford County jury finds Sayre man guilty of terrorist threats and assault by menace


(Towanda,  PA) – Jon Raymond Watkins, 38, of Sayre, was found guilty Tuesday by a Bradford County jury of making terroristic threats and simple assault by physical menace. Watkins was found guilty a one-day trial for pointing a loaded hunting rifle at a family member and making a threatening statement.

The verdict follows an investigation in May, 2022, when Officer Thomas Zebrowski and other officers from the Sayre Borough Police Department were called to a residence after receiving reports that a man, later identified as Watkins, had threatened a household family member with a loaded rifle.

Upon arrival, police learned Watkins had left the residence without the rifle and wasoutside. When police arrived, they formed a perimeter around the residence and informed Watkins that he was under arrest. Watkins then attempted to regain entry into the residence, but had been locked out by the victim.

Sayre Borough officers deployed a nonlethal taser on Watkins and then took him into custody. Upon searching the home after Watkins was in custody, police recovered the loaded bolt-action 30-06 rifle with multiple rounds of unspent ammunition in it.

The jury deliberated for approximately an hour before returning the verdict on Tuesday. The jury acquitted Watkins of the charges of Resisting Arrest and Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon.

Sentencing is scheduled for December 19, 2022, before the Honorable Judge Evan Williams, III. For the Simple Assault by Physical Menace charge, Watkins faces a potential maximum of two years of incarceration and a fine of five thousand dollars. For the Terroristic Threats charge, Watkins faces a potential maximum of five years of incarceration and a fine of ten thousand dollars.

The Bradford County District Attorney’s office intends to seek deadly weapons enhancements for the charges at the time of sentencing.