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Two ready for trial change minds and enter guilty pleas

Published October 05. 2009 02:55PM

Two defendants scheduled to be tried before a jury Tuesday at the Schuylkill County Courthouse had a change of heart and both pleaded guilty to criminal charges. Three new cases were attached for trial this morning.

Michael Seth Jenkins, 29, of 485 W. Spring St., Frackville, entered a guilty plea to a charge of simple assault after the district attorney's office dropped charges of aggravated assault, assault with a deadly weapon and recklessly endangering another person which were brought by Officer Michelle Ashman, Frackville police.

Judge D. Michael Stine ordered the adult probation department prepare a presentence investigation (PSI) for the court and directed Jenkins to appear in court on Monday, Nov. 16, for sentencing.

Joseph Chimahosky, of 215 Germansville Road, Butler Township, was scheduled to be tried by a jury on a charge of driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol but instead pleaded guilty and was immediately sentenced by Judge John E. Domalakes.

He was placed in the Intermediate Punishment Program (IPP) to serve 25 days under house arrest with electronic monitoring followed by four months and 35 days on probation, pay a fine of $500, pay $100 to the Substance Abuse Educatilon fund, $100 to the Catastrophe fund, a $50 monthly probation supervision fee, make restitution of $60 to the Schuylkill Medical Center and his driver's license is suspended 12 months.

On a charge of failing to have a driver's license was fined $200 and for failing to drive on a roadways laned for traffic fined $25 plus $100 in costs. Chimahosky was cited by Sgt. Eric Vinskie, Butler Township police, on April 30, 2008, in Gordon.

New cases

Ruben Pena and Joshua Robert Ptaszkowski, both of Shenandoah, went on trial this morning before a jury and Judge Domalakes charged with burglary of a Shenandoah home.

Richard L. Zerr, 62 , of Hamburg, went on trial before a jury and Judge Stine charged with simple assault and harassment which allegedly occurred in the Citizens Fire Company in Palo Alto on Sept. 13, 2008.

James Steven Weitzel, 45, of Lykens, went on trial before a jury and President Judge William E. Baldwin charged with delivery of a controlled substance, possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, criminal use of communication and possession of a controlled substance in Pottsville.

More guilty pleas

Judge Domalakes last Friday accepted guilty pleas from two defendants.

Richard H. Melicharek, 47, of 319 Columbia St., Tamaqua, pleaded guilty to charges of theft, receiving stolen property, criminal conspiracy and defiant trespass on LC& N property in Tamaqua and removal of scrap steel as charged by Cpl. Henry Woods on June 24, 2008. A PSI was ordered and sentencing was set for Wednesday, Oct. 28.

Gary John Laporte Jr., 43, Halifax, Va., pleaded guilty to DUI and failing to drive on the right side of the road as charged by Officer Jeffrey Futchko, Pine Grove police, last Jan. 4. The court ordered a PSI prepared and deferred sentencing to Oct. 28.

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