A Weissport man was spared a jail term yesterday in Carbon County court on theft and related counts.
Christopher Mertz, 21, was placed on probation for 18 months on charges of theft, receiving stolen property, and corruption of a minor.
Mertz was arrested on Aug. 12, 2011, by Lehighton police for an incident in which he entered a garage and removed a bicycle and other items. He was also charged with a Aug. 13 incident in which another bike was taken. In the cases a 16-year-old male juvenile was with him which led to the corruption charge.
President Judge Roger N. Nanovic told Mertz he had intended to sentence him to a jail term for the incidents but said he would go along with the recommendation of probation. Mertz, who previously pleaded guilty to the counts, had burglary charges dropped in the agreement, something Nanovic called a "big break" for him.
In addition to the probation term Nanovic ordered Mertz to get both a drug and alcohol (D&A) and mental health evaluations and follow any recommendations for treatment, zero tolerance on D&A use, get his General Education Diploma (GED), and stay fulltime employed. He was also ordered to make total restitution of $466.50 to the victims.
The sentence runs consecutive to any current probation term Mertz is serving.
Jeffrey Scott Eldridge, 28, of Wind Gap, and formerly of Albrightsville, was sentenced to a county prison term for driving under the influence (DUI). He previously pleaded to the count.
Nanovic sentenced him to serve five days to six months in prison, pay a fine of $1,000, license suspended for a year, and get a D&A evaluation.
Eldridge was arrested on July 2, 2011, along Old Stage Rd., in Penn Forest Township. Given a test, the result was .12BAC.
He will serve the prison term on two consecutive weekends beginning Friday, May 18, at 8 p.m. when he will serve two days followed by three days the weekend of May 25.
Both defendants must also pay court costs, which average about $1,000, and a $50 per month supervision fee while on probation or parole.