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Prisoner serving life for 1987 murder accused of assaulting Westmoreland County guards

October 18, 2018

A state prisoner serving a life sentence for a three-decade-old murder was charged Wednesday with assaulting and harassing six guards at the Westmoreland County Prison, where he was temporarily housed this summer.

County detectives charged Thomas S. Vile, 65, an inmate at SCI-Somerset, with two counts of aggravated harassment by a prisoner and four counts of assault by a prisoner after a June 12 incident at the county jail in Hempfield.

Vile was temporarily housed in Westmoreland County when he allegedly told guards that he had an undisclosed infectious disease, according to a complaint filed by Detective James Williams.

“Vile was threatening officers saying he had a cup of urine ... and was going to throw it on the prison security staff,” authorities said.

Williams reported that Vile refused multiple orders by guards to come to the cell door to be handcuffed.

A special cell extraction team donned protective gear to remove Vile, Williams said in court documents filed before Hempfield District Judge Mark Mansour.

Vile is accused of throwing a cup of urine, which struck two members of the extraction team.

Vile, originally from Delaware County, was sentenced to life in prison for the brutal 1987 shotgun slaying of his former girlfriend, Irene Darley-Pierce. Her father was Dick Darley, a pioneering television director and producer whose shows included “Space Patrol,” “The Mickey Mouse Club,” “The Rosemary Clooney Show” and others.

Vile fled to Canada after the shooting and was arrested in Toronto the next day. He remained jailed there for 10 months during a protracted extradition proceeding, as Canadian death-penalty opponents fought against his release, according to news reports.

A preliminary hearing for the Westmoreland County case has not been scheduled.