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The original item was published from 10/16/2015 8:46:45 AM to 10/31/2015 5:05:02 PM.

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District Attorney

Posted on: October 16, 2015

[ARCHIVED] Lancaster Man Jailed for PFA Violation, then Muttering Expletive in Court


A Lancaster man charged with breaking a protection-from-abuse order - then muttering an expletive in court - will not get a new trial, an appeals court ruled.

Richard Formica has been at Lancaster County Prison since December for an initial PFA-violation charge.

At a January hearing over that violation, Formica muttered, “(expletive) you,” while staring the victim, prompting a new criminal contempt of court charge.

Lancaster County Judge Merrill Spahn convicted Formica of that in February, then later denied Formica’s request for appeal relief.

(Formica was found not guilty of the initial PFA violation.)

The conviction resulted in a parole violation regarding a 2009 conviction of numerous counts of theft and related charges.

On Thursday, the Pennsylvania Superior Court denied Formica’s appeal to have the latest conviction lifted.
Formica argued that what he said in court was “inaudible” and not grounds for a new charge.

The high court, in its ruling, found that Judge Spahn’s initial denial of appeal was “well-reasoned.” Judge Spahn and the Superior Court both opined that Formica was made aware that he was under PFA order and could have no interaction of any kind with the victim.

MEDIA CONTACT: Brett A. Hambright, 717-295-2041;

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