ATHENS TWP, Pa. (WETM) – An Athens woman was arrested for allegedly hiding three wanted men inside her home, going so far as to hide one inside a cut-out piece of a wall, all while children were also inside.
Billie Jo Acla, 54, was arrested on December 22 after Athens Township Police received reports that multiple men with active arrest warrants were inside her home on McCloe Lane.
When officers arrived, they noticed a man who matched the description of one of the wanted men taking items from a car into the house, walking “at a fast pace back into the residence.” Upon questioning, other residents in the home asked police to leave and denied that the man was there.
Another woman, whose kids were allegedly in the home, resisted arrest when police smelled marijuana in her car. However, she eventually told police she knew that Timothy Parkhurst was in the house, “but she was unsure of anyone else,” according to the criminal complaint.
At this point, Acla, who owns the house, arrived and gave officers permission to search inside, denying Parkhurst was there.
Police found a closet door that was “being forcefully held from the other side” and discovered Parkhurst hiding inside. Parkhurst was taken into custody.
Another man in the home allegedly gave police a fake name of Bryan Hurd, which didn’t come up on any records from Bradford County Dispatch.
The woman who resisted arrest told police that the only person she knew with the last name Hurd was an “Uncle Scott”. The police affidavits said that Acla later said “What do you want, Scott” while she “appeared distracted, confirming to police that the man was Scott Hurd. Dispatch confirmed that Scott Hurd had a state parole warrant.
Hurd told police “I just wanted to be around for Christmas” and was then taken into custody.
Acla then told police she didn’t know if anyone else was inside, but gave officers permission to keep searching for a third man, Todd Eccleston.
Officers found a sawed-out piece of wall inside the closet that Parkhurst had been hiding in and could hear someone breathing. One officer punched through the wall and felt Eccleston on the other side, pulling him through.
At that point, Acla reportedly started trying to interfere, causing police to close the door to keep her out, according to the criminal complaint.
Officers then found a backpack that contained methamphetamine, four smoking pipes, and multiple hypodermic needles. Hurd later admitted that Eccleston brought the meth to the house.
The three men were taken to the Sayre Police Department to be arraigned on their warrants, and Acla was arrested by Athens Police. She was charged with two counts of Hindering Apprehension or Prosecution, two counts of Obstructing Administration of Law, and Endangering the Welfare of a Children.
She is currently being held in the Bradford County Correctional Facility at $80,000 bail. Her hearing is set for January 18.