Penn Township man pleads guilty to stalking and role in failed jail drug smuggling plot

·2 min read

Sep. 15—Tracey Boyle made it perfectly clear she no longer wanted anything to do with her former boyfriend after enduring months of fear and concern over the safety for herself and her children.

"No one would logically sign up for you. Your behavior came to be of a child who didn't get away with something," Boyle told Joshuwa Petrill as she asked a Westmoreland County judge to appropriately punished her former boyfriend for the repeated stalking following their tumultuous breakup.

Petrill, 40, of Penn Township pleaded guilty Tuesday to dozens of criminal offenses in seven separate cases that included three in which police said he stalked, intimidated and damaged property including one incident in 2019 where investigators said he installed a tracking device on to his former girlfriend's vehicle and another in which he damaged her new paramour's truck.

Police said Petrill stalked Boyle for up to 10 months before his arrest.

"We looked at his cell phone and, in addition to finding selfies of him tanning, we found searches asking what did Ted Bundy say to his victims," said Assistant District Attorney Anthony Iannamorelli.

Petrill also pleaded guilty to charges that he helped a Bolivar man attempt to smuggle drugs into the Westmoreland County Prison.

Police said Petrill and his cellmate, David Lee McGinnis, orchestrated a plot to threaten a witnesses and sneak synthetic marijuana and suboxone into the Hempfield lockup in 2020. The failed plan called for Petrill to retrieve the drugs from a bathroom at magistrate's office while attending a preliminary hearing.

Petrill rejected a plea deal that called for him to receive up to five years in prison. Instead, he pleaded guilty to more than 50 offenses. Through defense attorney Jim Robinson, he asked Common Pleas Court Judge Meagan Bilik-DeFazio to impose a sentence that required him to serve no additional time behind bars.

Petrill has been in jail since October 2018.

The judge sentenced Petrill to serve 11 1/2 to 23 months in jail but gave him credit for the nearly three years he spent in custody after his arrest. She ordered that he be paroled to a mental health treatment program and that he serve an additional six months on house arrest and three years on probation.

McGinnis, 28, in June pleaded guilty to 17 counts in connection with the drug smuggling plot and was sentenced to serve 2 to 4 years in prison.

Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Rich at 724-830-6293, rcholodofsky@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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