A student at Panther Valley High School, who allegedly made threats at the school, was placed in Carbon County's Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition (ARD) probation program for first time offenders on Tuesday. He was one of seven defendants in pending cases to be placed in the program.
If a person successfully completes all conditions of the program their record is wiped clean. However, if they fail to complete it, or are revoked from it, they face trial on all pending charges. A person does not admit guilt in entering the program.
Matthew B. Keer, 19, of Lansford, was placed in the program for two years on charges of terroristic threats to cause serious public inconvenience and disorderly conduct.
Keer was charged by Summit Hill police on March 14 after he allegedly made threats at the school, stating that everybody was going to die. Police received information from school officials stating that Keer was given school discipline as a result of the incident.
Defense Attorney Paul Levy told Judge Joseph J. Matika that Keer was offered ARD because of a mental health issue which he has since addressed with counseling. Levy said Keer realizes he was getting a break by being placed in the program.
Matika ordered Keer to get a mental health evaluation, pay $450 assessment fee for the operation of the program, and render 100 hours of community service.
Other defendants placed in the program by Matika, all for a year unless otherwise noted, included the following:
Daniel D. Berger, 24, of Jim Thorpe, was placed on a charge of simple assault. He was arrested on May 8, 2012, by Palmerton police, for an incident in the area of 224 Delaware Ave., with Preston Grow the listed victim.
He was assessed $650, and ordered to get a drug and alcohol (D&A) evaluation and follow any recommendation for treatment, render 50 hours of community service, and have no contact with the victim.
Melissa Lynn Binder, 38, of Jim Thorpe, was placed on a charge of driving under the influence (DUI). She was arrested on May 10, 2012, along Mauch Chunk Road, Palmerton, by state police at Lehighton. Given a test, the result was .12BAC.
She was assessed $650, and ordered to get a D&A evaluation, render 50 hours of community service, and license suspended for 30 days.
Michael M. Gondell, 56, of Hazleton, was placed on a DUI charge. He was arrested on Oct. 11, 2012, along Hunter Street, by Nesquehoning police. Given a test, the result was .13BAC.
He was assessed $500, and ordered to get a D&A evaluation, render 50 hours of community service, and license suspended for 30 days.
Elizabeth A. Jordan, 20, of Malvern, Chester County, was placed on a charge of DUI. She was arrested on Jan. 6 along Interstate 80 in Kidder Township by state police at Fern Ridge. Given a test, the result was a .05BAC and the presence of a controlled substance.
She was assessed $450, and ordered to get a D&A evaluation, render 50 hours of community service, and license suspended for 90 days.
Chester Miller, 71, of Weatherly, was placed on a DUI charge. He was arrested on Feb. 1 along Hudsondale Street, by Weatherly police. He refused a test and will lose his license for a year for the refusal.
He was assessed $600, and ordered to get a D&A evaluation, render 50 hours of community service, and license suspended for 60 days.
Horace Roland Moore, 43, of Philadelphia, was placed for two years on a charge of burglary. He was arrested on March 17 by Kidder Township police for an incident at the residence of Robert Lawson Sr., in Albrightsville.
He was assessed $650, and ordered to get both D&A and mental health evaluations, render 100 hours of community service, and make restitution of $1,495 to the victim.
Each defendant must also pay court costs, which average close to $1,000, and pay a $50 per month supervision fee while in the program.