A Lansford man pleaded, again, on Thursday to a count of simple assault stemming from an incident inside a borough bar. He was one of several defendants in pending cases to enter a guilty plea.
Jack Humphries, 58, appeared before Senior Judge Richard W. Webb to plead to the count stemming from an incident on June 2, 2008. He was charged by borough police with cutting the left hand of bartender Karen Mantz, with glass from a broken beer glass because of a dispute over food. The incident occurred inside the Miners' Pub along E. Patterson St.
Humphries had appeared in the county court on other occasions. Once he appeared to plead guilty, declined, and asked for a jury trial. He later returned on Aug. 20, 2009, and pleaded guilty before President Judge Roger N. Nanovic II to the assault count. He later filed a petition to withdraw the plea. Nanovic conducted a hearing on the petition and granted it letting Humphries withdraw his plea and the case was rescheduled for trial.
Yesterday he appeared before Webb to enter the plea, which also has the district attorney's office invoking the deadly weapon enhancement provision of the law.
According to police Humphries got into a dispute with Mantz over the price of a cheeseburger. A beer glass was broken and police said Humphries slashed at Mantz cutting her left hand resulting in serious injuries.
Mantz told Webb that the injury resulted in her undergoing five major reconstruction surgeries. She said she will never have full function of the hand and it has affected her ability to work and do only marginal things. She added, "I suffered all of this over a cheeseburger."
A medical restitution bill of $12,556.86 was presented to the court.
Webb told Humphries under state sentencing guidelines, in the standard range, he faced a minimum of six months in prison and a maximum of two years.
Webb accepted the plea but deferred sentencing ordering the adult probation office to prepare a presentence investigation.
Other defendants who entered pleas included:
Anthony J. Mongi, 55, of Summit Hill, pleaded to one count each of possession of drug paraphernalia, an ungraded misdemeanor, and the summary offense of public drunkenness.
He was arrested on Aug. 26, 2009, by Fish and Game Commission officers near Mauch Chunk Creek along the Switchback Trail in Summit Hill. The officers found Mongi sitting on a raft near the creek with fishing equipment. The officers were conducting a check on Mongi's fishing license when they observed a pipe used to smoke marijuana. Mongi threw the pipe in the creek when confronted but the officers retrieved it. The officers also said Mongi was intoxicated at the time and struggled with them when they attempted to place him under arrest.
Mongi told Webb he was suffering from mental health problems at the time of the incident and was using alcohol because he lost his medical benefits and was no longer able to get his medication. He told Webb, "I made a lot of bad judgments."
On the possession count Webb placed him on probation for a year and ordered he get both a mental health and drug and alcohol evaluations and follow any recommendations for treatment.
On the drunkenness charge he was placed on probation for 90 days concurrent with the first count.
Wayne Robert Whitsitt, 28, of Lehighton, pleaded to one count of bringing contraband-marijuana, into the county prison, a felony three. He was arrested on Aug. 18, 2009, when he returned to the jail after being out on a furlough. He attempted to pass the marijuana on to another inmate, hidden in a bible.
Webb told Whitsitt that under sentencing guidelines, in the standard range, he faced a minimum jail term of nine to 18 months with a maximum of seven years.
Webb deferred sentencing and ordered a PSI be prepared.
Danielle J. Neff, 21, of Lansford, pleaded to one count of possession of drug paraphernalia. She was arrested on July 3, 2009, by state police at Lehighton following a vehicle stop in Penn Forest Township. Troopers responded to 171 Mountain View Road for a reported domestic incident and found Neff hiding in the nearby woods. Found on her was a plastic baggie containing illegal substances.
Webb placed her on probation for a year and ordered she get a D&A evaluation.
John Nathaniel Lyles III, 26, of Lehighton, pleaded to one count each of possession of a controlled substance-marijuana, and summary offense of disorderly conduct.
Lyles was arrested on Nov. 14, 2009, by Lehighton police along N. Second St. Police responded to a report of an assault in which Lyles was a participant. During a routine patdown marijuana was found on him. The conduct charge stems from the altercation.
Lyles is currently serving a prison term of three to 17 months for an indecent assault charge.
On the possession count Webb placed him on probation for a year and 90 days probation on the conduct charge with both running concurrent with each other and concurrent with his present prison term.
James L. Nedinsky, 34, of Cressona, pleaded to one count of retail theft, as a misdemeanor one. He was arrested on Aug. 5, 2009, for taking 22 cases of baby formula from the Jim Thorpe Market.
Nedinsky has been in jail for the past seven months on the Carbon count and a similar charge in Schuylkill County. He also has a detainer filed against him issued in Berks County for drug charges.
Webb placed him on probation for a year and ordered he get a D&A evaluation and make restitution of $265.68 to the victim. The term runs concurrent with a sentence imposed in Schuylkill County.
Stacy L. Smith, 41, of Lehighton, pleaded to one count of retail theft, as a felony three. She was arrested by Mahoning Township police on July 28, 2009, for taking $105.74 worth of items from the Walmart store.
Webb placed her on probation for a year and ordered her to supply a DNA sample and pay the $250 fee.
All defendants sentenced must pay court costs and a $50 per month supervision fee while on probation or parole.