A Lehighton man was sentenced to a prsion term on Thursday for drunk driving and driving while suspended for drunk driving. He was one of several defendants in pending cases to enter a guilty plea before President Judge Roger N. Nanovic II.
Mark Joseph Decosta, 28, was sentenced to serve a total of 60 days to one day less two years in the county prison after pleading guilty to driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while under suspension-DUI related.
He was arrested on July 7 along Blakeslee Boulevard Drive East in Mahoning Township. Township police received a call from employees at the Burger King restaurant that there was a person in the drive-thru drinking a bottle fo beer.
Police responded and found Decosta as the driver with the open container of alcohol.
On the DUI count Nanovic sentenced Decosta to serve 10 days to one day less two years, a fine of $1,000 and a one year license suspension. On the driving under suspension he was sentenced to serve 60 days in jail, a fine of $500 and another one year suspension. The jail terms run concurrently.
Nanovic also ordered Decosta to get a drug and alcohol (D&A) evaluation and follow any recommendation for treatment, must maintain employment and was granted work release privileges.
Other defendants who entered pleas included:
Brian P. Marshall, 24, of Blakeslee, pleaded to one count of receiving stolen property for an incident on June 9 in Lehighton. He was charged with his part in the theft of a purse belonging to Samatha Griffith and using credit cards and belonging to the victim.
Nanovic sentenced him to time served (136 days) to 18 months in prison, followed by one year of probation. He was also ordered to make restitution to the victim in the amount of $1,000, which is one half the total; get a D&A evaluation, zero tolerance on D&A use, attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings at least three times a week, get fulltime employment, and supply and DNA sample and pay the $250 fee.
Franklin Moser, 50, of Lehighton, pleaded to one count each of DUI and driving under suspension-DUI related. He was arrested on May 30 along Leininger Drive, in Mahoning Township, after being involved in an accident. He fled the scene on foot but was later found hiding in a nearby wooded area. He refused to submit to a blood test.
On the DUI count he was sentenced to serve 72 hours to six months in jail, a fine of $1,000 and one year license suspension. On the driving under suspension he was sentenced to serve 60 days in jail, a fine of $500 and another one year suspension. The jail terms run concurrently. He was also ordered to get a D&A evaluation.
He will serve the jail term on consecutive weekends beginning Friday, Oct. 23, at 6 p.m.
Bethann Marie Neff, 22, of Nesquehoning, pleaded to one count of possession of a controlled substance-heroin. She was arrested on Jan. 10 when Nesquehoning police was dispatched to the area of 72 W. Catawissa St. to a report of a person passed out on steps. Police found Neff laying on steps leading to her residence. She admitted to using heroin at the time.
Nanovic sentenced her to time served (40 days) to one year in jail. She was ordered to get a D&A evaluation, zero tolerance on D&A use, and render three hours of community service per month while on parole.
Stephanie Glennerster, 40, of Nesquehoning, pleaded to one count of retail theft. She was arrested by Nesquehoning police for an incident at Redner's Warehouse Market on Aug. 5. She attempted to remove $17.02 worth of merchandise from the store without paying for it.
Nanovic placed her on probation for a year. He warned her that this was a second conviction and a third would raise the offense to a felony, which means a possible prison term.
Michael C. Strohl, 25, of Weissport, pleaded to one count of DUI. He was arrested on Feb. 21 along Mauch Chunk St., in Mahoning Township. Given a test, the result was .10BAC.
A first offense, Strohl was placed on probation for six months and ordered to pay a fine of $300 and get a D&A evaluation.
Robert Richards, 55, of Lehighton, pleaded to one count of DUI. He was arrested on May 18, 2007, along Mahoning Drive East in Mahoning Township. Given a test, the result was .30BAC.
Nanovic deferred sentencing to give Richards a opportunity to apply for the Intermediate Punishment Program (IPP). Richards is facing a mandatory minimum 90 days in jail at the time of sentencing.
All the defendants must also pay court costs and a $50 per month supervision fee.