Concerns are being expressed by Schuylkill County judges on the increased number of defendants who are having their probations revoked.
Because of the overcrowding in the county prison, judges have been giving more consideration to probations, but instead of taking advantage, the defendants have been violating terms and are now finding themselves locked behind bars.
President Judge William E. Baldwin ruled on the following cases concerning recent revocation hearings:
Phillip George Brinich, 31, of 24 E. Elm St., Tamaqua, had his probation revoked and was resentenced on a charge of theft to serve six to 23 months in the county prison. He had pleaded guilty and was sentenced in November 2009 to 18 months probation.
Brian R. Kehl, 31, of Tuscarora, had his probation revoked and was resentenced on a charge of possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia to serve three to 12 months in the county prison with credit for serving 47 days. He had pleaded guilty to the charges.
Richard Andrew Pizzo, 27, of 23 Circle Drive, Barnesville, had his probation revoked and he was recommitted to the county prison to serve the balance of his sentence. His street time of 332 days were disallowed and added to his maximum sentence. He received credit for 52 days spent in jail. Pizzo pleaded guilty in November 2008 to credit card fraud and served 63 days in jail and was released on probation. He had one previous revocation in February 2010.
Tyler Drum, 21, Tower City, had his probation revoked and he was recommitted to prison with a loss of 164 days of liberty which will be added to his maximum sentence. He was resentenced on a charge of theft to serve 18 to 36 months with credit for 159 days. On a charge of criminal trespass he was sentenced to serve 12 to 24 months beginning at the expiration of the first sentence.
On a charge of criminal mischief he was sentenced to serve six to 12 months which begins at the expiration of his second sentence. His total confinement is 36 to 72 months. He was remanded to the custody of Sheriff Joseph Grood to be transported to a state correctional institution.
Judge Charles M. Miller revoked the parole of Jill Steffie, 27, Saint Clair, formerly of Frackville, and ordered her to serve the balance of her original sentence in the county prison and 428 days of liberty taken away and added to her maximum sentence. She received credit for spending 24 days in prison. She also must submit to a mental health and drug and alcohol evaluations. Steffie pleaded guilty to driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol in November 2009 and after spending time in prison was released on probation.
Judge John E. Domalakes ruled in the following cases:
Andrew Scott Lehman, 28, Minersville, had his parole revoked and was remanded to the county prison to serve the balance of his sentence and his 723 days of liberty disallowed and added to his maximum sentence. The court would consider re-parole into an inpatient drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility if such treatment is recommended after he undergoes an evaluation. Lehman pleaded guilty to DUI in November 2008 and after serving 90 days in prison was released on parole.
Donald Watson, 23, Pottsville, had his probation revoked and he was resentenced on a charge of passing bad checks to serve nine to 23 months in the county prison with credit for 69 days spent in jail. He had pleaded guilty to the charges.