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Judge Refuses to Dismiss Indictment Against Butler Councilman

Sean McNear is charged with endangering the welfare of a child after he allegedly pointed a BB gun and choked his son, police said.

Butler Councilman Sean McNear. / Patch file photo.
Butler Councilman Sean McNear. / Patch file photo.

An indictment against Butler Councilman Sean McNear was not dismissed last week by a Superior Court judge.

Judge Mary Gibbons Whipple denied a motion by Peter Gilbreth, McNear’s lawyer, to dismiss the indictment against his client, NJ.com reported. Gilbreth wanted the indictment dismissed because the prosecution refused to let McNear testify before the grand jury who indicted him in March, the website reported.

Whipple said a grand jury hearing “is not an adversarial proceeding” and is intended to only gather enough information to charge a defendant.

McNear, 45, faces charges of endangering the welfare of a child after authorities allege he choked, punched, and pointed a loaded BB gun at his 7-year-old son between November 2009 and November 2011. He was also charged with possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.

An affidavit stated that the alleged victim told authorities that McNear pointed the BB gun at his face, “punched him in the face with a closed fist,” and grabbed his neck from the front.

The affidavit stated that a witness reported that she heard the victim screaming and allegedly found McNear holding the BB gun in the victim’s bedroom; the victim allegedly ran out of the room screaming, the affidavit stated.

McNear was also involved in a “road rage” incident on Route 23 in May 2012, police said.

McNear was sworn in to a new three-year term in January 2012. He is chairman of the council’s Health, Sanitation, and Community Development Committee, vice chairman of the Electric Light and Public Lighting Committee, and serves on the Water and Wastewater Committee.

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