TOWANDA, Pa. (WETM) – Former Bradford County Coroner Tom Carman waived his former arraignment appearance in Bradford County Court on Thursday.
Carman was originally scheduled to appear in court at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday.
The move now sends Carman’s case into its pre-trial phase, which may or may not result in a trial.
Carman was arrested by Pennsylvania State Police in July for allegedly stealing more than $400,000 from Western Alliance Emergency Ambulance Service while he was CEO.
Carman had control of the WAES finances between 2014 and 2019, and it was determined after an audit that he allegedly stole $431,913.
In 2019 18 News first reported that Carman resigned as the CEO of Western Alliance EMS amid financial issues. Carman said at the time he resigned to focus on being the county coroner.
The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office is prosecuting the case against Carman.
In June, WETM 18 News exclusively broke the story of a separate investigation into Carman by the Luzerne County District Attorney after a video and explicit messages posted on social media suggested he attempted to meet a 15-year-old boy for sex in Kingston.
Bradford County Commissioner Daryl Miller confirmed the investigation to 18 News on Thursday morning, the day after Carman suddenly resigned.
Messages allegedly sent by Carman were received by Musa Harris, who calls himself the “Luzerne County Predator Catcher.” Harris messages men on dating apps, such as Grindr, with the hope of catching men who are looking for sex with underage boys.
The messages between Harris and Carman began at 2:52 p.m. on June 29 and continued for over three hours. The account that appears to be Carman’s had the name “Another Day” with a smiley face and the age of 51.
After about 15 minutes of talking, Harris texts that he is the mirror of Carman’s age, 51.
“Oh **** dude I can’t,” said the reply. “You’re 15, that’s not good. You’re very hot but that’s jail man.”
The messages continue with Carman allegedly replying “I get it but holy **** I don’t want any trouble” and “but if we get caught.”
At 3:16 p.m. a text comes in saying “I’m going to Allentown quick. When I come back up through in a couple of hours we will chat.” He continued to say “definitely cute” and giving the size of his genitals. The two discuss meeting in a park or at a boat dock where they won’t be seen in Carman’s suburban.
At 4:55 p.m. a text comes through saying “I’m back on the road now.” Harris responds, “To come back” and receives the reply “Yup.”
Harris later received a reply “Where can I get a coffee in Kingston” Harris tells him to go to the Valero’s gas station on Pringle Street. At that point Harris finds Carman walking out of the gas station with a cup of coffee and confronts him.
Harris asks Carman if he’s looking to meet someone and Carman doesn’t reply. When Harris says he’s got screenshots and pictures of their texts, Harris says Carman pulled out his badge. Carman then walks away into a suburban and says “I didn’t say I would meet you. I didn’t send you anything inappropriate.”
Carman resigned the next day.
The full video can be found on the Luzerne County Predator Youtube page and the full messages, acquired exclusively by 18 News in an agreement with Harris, can be viewed below.
Harris told 18 News in an exclusive interview that he has four kids of his own and that after watching other videos of people catching alleged predators, he felt like it was his job to help. He says he’s caught about 160 men and has turned several of them over to the authorities.
“All throughout life you always hear about these stories with the kids and things like that being molested day by day,” said Harris. “And me watching that just inspires me to just keep this just started doing it myself.”
County Commissioner Miller tells 18 News that he was not aware of any previous investigations into Carman and that the vehicle in the video was not a county vehicle.
18 News has requested Carman’s travel records, receipts, and expense reports for the past week, but have not heard back from the county at this time.
According to the Bradford County Coroner website, Carman is a Certified Medical Investigator through the American Board of Forensic Medicine. Carman passed his American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators board examination in Nevada in 2009 and is now a board-certified Medicolegal Death Investigator.
The Coroner’s position will be temporarily filled by the Chief Deputy Coroner until a replacement is appointed by Governor Tom Wolf. According to the County Coroner’s website, the Chief Deputy Coroner is James Bowen.
According to Governor Wolf’s office, “due to the fact the resignation occurred 90 days prior to the next municipal election, this seat will be on the ballot this November to fill the remainder of the term. Each party gets to nominate a candidate. The County will need to name an acting in the meantime.”
According to the Bradford County Board of Elections, Bowen is the only candidate running for County Coroner.