Jeannette factory worker sentenced to stand trial, accused of stabbing company manager and assaulting second
Three managers at a Jeannette manufacturing plant testified Thursday that a co-worker burst into a meeting of plant supervisors on Dec. 2 and stabbed the facility’s security guard with a utility knife, then attempted to stab the human resources manager.
After listening to more than three hours of testimony from Omnova Solutions officials about the incident, District Judge Joseph DeMarchis ordered their colleague, Scott Lee “Woody” Woodmancy, 57, of Derry Township, to undergo his trial.
Woodmancy faces a single count of attempted homicide and two counts of aggravated assault, common assault and reckless endangerment.
“I didn’t know if I would see my children again. (Woodmancy) tried to kill me,” injured employee Preston Patterson told DeMarchis, pointing to Woodmancy, who was sitting next to his attorney, the Duke George of New Kensington.
“(Woodmancy) wasn’t even invited to the meeting. He came in screaming, screaming, shaking, clenching his fists,” Patterson said.
Patterson is the company’s health and safety manager. He testified that he previously reported Woodmancy for not following company policies on masking and personal protective equipment.
He said Woodmancy, a 10-year-old employee, recently returned to work after a 30-day suspension when he followed Patterson and plant human resources manager Jacob Noeller into the plant manager’s office. Sooviraj Hurgobin.
“He came in and said, ‘Oh, that’s perfect…you’re all here,'” Patterson, quoting Woodmancy, told the men.
“You are (expletive) with my livelihood,” he told us, glaring at me. And he claimed the suspension cost him $8,000. … I don’t know where he got that,” Patterson said under questioning by Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Echard.
Hurgobin testified that he and Noeller tried to calm Woodmancy down, and he warned Woodmancy that he would be escorted out of the factory if he did not settle down.
Noeller said Hurgobin’s directive to Woodmancy only seemed to “enrage” him further. Noeller said Woodmancy hit Patterson with his left hand which missed, but then pulled a ceramic knife from his pants pocket and attempted to stab Patterson.
“I’m glad I was able to put my arm up and block him because he would have stabbed me in the neck,” Patterson said.
Patterson said he was then stabbed in the left shoulder, so he curled up on the ground in an attempt to protect himself.
Patterson told the district judge that Woodmancy tried to stab him “five or six more times” before being repelled by Hurgobin and Noeller.
Noeller testified that Woodmancy then attempted to stab him with the knife, but the blade “broken” when he initially stabbed Patterson.
Patterson was taken by ambulance to AHN Forbes Hospital in Monroeville where surgeons removed the blade from his shoulder and closed his stab wounds. Patterson testified that he was unable to return to work.
“The first two months it hurt so much I couldn’t even change my son’s diapers,” Patterson said. “Every day when I move, the pain is always so constant that I think about it.”
He also testified that he vividly remembered what Woodmancy told him before he left the office afterwards.
“He told me he wished he’d cut my jugular vein,” Patterson said.
Noeller admitted under questioning by George that he did not need medical attention after being hit by Woodmancy following Patterson’s attack.
Woodmancy, who is free after posting $100,000 bond, has pleaded not guilty.
George asked DeMarchis to dismiss the attempted homicide charge that was added to the complaint just before Thursday’s hearing.
“There was no mention in the probable cause affidavit of my client saying he intended to kill anyone,” George said.
However, DeMarchis said Patterson’s “off-the-cuff” testimony, which was corroborated by both Noeller and Hurgobin, is “sufficient to support the attempted homicide charge to proceed to trial.”
Omnova Solutions, which employs approximately 150 people, produces vinyl and industrial laminate films for products such as awnings and ceiling tiles.
Police Corporal Jeannette. Chris Mason testified that Woodmancy dropped the knife in the office and fled the office, returning to his workstation in the factory where he was taken into custody.
Mason said Woodmancy refused to give a statement to police after the assault.