Son testifies against father in Milliard preliminary hearing

The preliminary hearing for Francis Anthony Milliard, 54, of Ridgway, charged in connection with two area arsons as well as the attempted murder of a Ridgway man, resulted in those charges being upheld by District Judge George A. "Tony" King in Elk County Court on Wednesday. With the purpose of a preliminary hearing being to determine whether sufficient evidence exists to support felony criminal charges before proceeding, Elk County District Attorney Bradley J. Kraus, in an effort to connect Francis Milliard to the crimes charged, called as a witness Milliard's son Anthony Karl Milliard, 28, of Ridgway, who is charged along with his father in the arsons committed in Ridgway and Johnsonburg. During his testimony Wednesday, Anthony Milliard said he was directed by his father to set the fires at 115 First Ave. in Johnsonburg on Dec. 8, 2008, and 521 West Main St. in Ridgway May 30, 2012. Anthony Milliard also testified that he witnessed his father assault Todd "TJ" Asti, 44, of Ridgway, over what he said was a $240 drug debt.In setting the fires, Anthony Milliard said his father supplied him with the incendiary materials and drove him to and from the locations.