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Shrewsbury man with 2012 hit list avoids more prison time for new threats

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch

A 73-year-old Shrewsbury Township man who spent 300 days in prison for having a "hit list" of people he purportedly planned to kill five years ago has avoided more prison time for threatening a former attorney again.

David E. Rinehart, of 15341 Whitcraft Road, was jailed for four days after the November incident, then remained free on bail pending the outcome of the case.

David Rinehart

On Monday, he pleaded no contest to making terroristic threats. As part of a negotiated plea agreement, he was sentenced to a year of probation, ordered to undergo a mental-health evaluation and comply with recommended treatment. He also was ordered to have no contact with the victims in the case.

About 3½ years ago, when he was sentenced to time served (300 days) plus 429 days on probation for the hit-list case, he was ordered to comply with all mental-health counseling and treatment, including taking his prescribed medications, according to court records. He is no longer on probation for the 2012 case.

Southern Regional Police arrested Rinehart again last winter after he threatened to kill local attorney Bernard Ilkhanoff outside the attorney's office.

Attorneys on hit list: Ilkhanoff represented Rinehart years ago on an unrelated matter. Ilkhanoff and his wife and law partner, Paula Silverstein, were on Rinehart's 2012 hit list.

According to court documents, Rinehart drove to the couple's 249 S. Main St. office in Shrewsbury on Nov. 22, pulled up to the front steps, revved the engine of his pickup truck and started yelling that he was going to kill Ilkhanoff. He then took off at a high rate of speed, police said.

About the same time, Ilkhanoff arrived at his office and backed into a parking space. That's when Rinehart returned and again revved his engine and honked his horn, documents state.

"When Rinehart observed Ilkhanoff, he backed his vehicle up and was directly in front of Ilkhanoff's vehicle," documents state, at which point he started yelling at the attorney.

'Muttering and mumbling': Rinehart then pulled beside the attorney so their driver windows were next to each other, police said.

"Rinehart appeared enraged and was muttering and mumbling between audible statements," charging documents state. "Rinehart demanded money back from Ilkhanoff, referencing the Constitution."

But that's when Ilkhanhoff apparently used a little psychology on the man, according to police — he told Rinehart he wasn't Ilkhanoff.

Rinehart apparently believed the attorney, according to police. He said if his demands weren't met in three or four days, he would "come and get" Ilkhanoff, charging documents allege. Rinehart revved his engine again, flashed his high beams and took off, tires squealing, police said.

Denied treatment court: Rinehart's defense attorney, Joseph Caraciolo, said he had hoped to get his client admitted into York County's mental-health court, one of a number of specialized treatment courts designed to get to the root of a defendant's issues.

But prosecutors denied two admission applications, he said. The first denial was because the application was missing information; the second denial was because prosecutors weren't satisfied with Rinehart's diagnosis, according to Caraciolo.

"I think anyone involved would say mental-health court might have been a better solution," the attorney said.

Caraciolo said that because the presiding judge warned she would grant no further continuances, "he was left with a reasonable (plea) offer ... but one which we don't know will satisfy his mental-health needs as well as mental-health court would have."

Incomplete forms: Chief deputy prosecutor Tim Barker said the rejections were automatically generated by the probation office because neither of Rinehart's mental-health court applications were complete.

His first application was rejected because it was missing information and because the program was at capacity, according to Barker, while the second application was rejected because it did not include a diagnosis.

"(Rinehart's request) never even made its way to us for review," Barker said.

2012 threats case: Rinehart's 2012 hit list included the names of a York County district judge, several local attorneys and others.

He was found guilty Oct. 29, 2013, of making terroristic threats and disorderly conduct.

Trial testimony revealed that Rinehart told officers the threats and hit list were a calculated move on his part to "get some (police) action."

Rinehart walked into Smith Bros. Garage at 238 N. Main St. in Shrewsbury about 9:45 a.m. June 6, 2012, and said he was going to start shooting people with an AK-47 assault rifle.

He claimed he had a list of people he wanted to kill, in the order he wanted to do it, according to court records. After garage workers notified Southern Regional Police, officers went to Rinehart's mobile home, but he wasn't there, police have said.

Inside the trailer, officers found the hit list and a number of handwritten notes, some threatening to cut off people's heads with swords, police said.

'Kill everybody': The notes included "get AK-47, Kill as many as can, kill everybody" and "cut heads off 4 more women" and "I been hasselled for 5 or 6 months — time for payback ... kill all but 6 pallbearers," according to documents.

The interior of Rinehart's trailer was destroyed, according to police, and officers seized several swords and a handgun from the home.

Police conducted an intensive search for Rinehart, contacting the man's family and friends to ask for names of places he frequented.

One of those places was Bradley K. Smith's auction house in Chanceford Township, where state police found and arrested Rinehart, police have said. He wasn't armed at the time of his arrest, police said.

Named in the hit list were District Judge Jeff Joy, who has since resigned; Ilkhanoff and Silverstein; attorney D. Reed Anderson; a lifelong friend of Rinehart's named Baxter Myers; and two others, police said.

In 2012, Myers told The York Dispatch that Rinehart is "an all-around nice guy" who was suffering from mental-health issues. Myers theorized the hit list was merely a plea for help.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.