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Two Lansford men enter guilty pleas

Published February 24. 2010 05:00PM

Two Lansford men entered guilty pleas on Tuesday in Carbon County court before Judge Steven R. Serfass stemming from separate incidents.

Gun incident

Malcolm Harris, 22, pleaded guilty to one count of person not to possess a firearm, a misdemeanor two.

Harris was arrested on Dec. 22, 2009, in the area of Tunnel and Patterson streets. in Lansford. The arrest report indicates that Harris and another person were observed at the intersection with the defendant known to officers. Police approached Harris, who had backpack on and appeared nervious. As officers asked him to produced identification he was patted down.

The officer who patted down Harris yelled, "a gun." At this point Harris fled on foot with the two officers in pursuit.

The chase went for about a block before Harris was taken into custody but officers could not find the gun. A short time later Harris told the officers he had a gun and hid it and would show them where it was at because he said he didn't want "a child to find it."

The gun was .22-caliber handgun that was loaded and one shell in the chamber. A background check showed that Harris has a felony assault conviction in New York state which prohibits him from having in his possession any kind of weapon.

Harris told Serfass that he had the gun for protection because he had been assaulted in the past in New York and he was going to go to New York when police saw him.

Assistant District Atty. Jean Engler told Serfass the situation was extremely serious but added that Harris did cooperate fully with police. Defense Atty. George Dydynsky said Harris did cooperate fully with officers. He also read a letter Harris wrote to the court apologzing for his actions and explaining the reason he had the gun.

Serfass accepted the plea and placed Harris on probation for three years. He was given credit for 16 days spent in jail on the charges.


Daniel W. Hollan, 27, pleaded to one count each of escape and resisting arrest. He was arrested on Jan. 9 for an incident at his residence.

Lansford police responded to the home to a report of a domestic incident. At the scene Hollan was taken into custody. While attempting to place him into the police cruiser Hollan tried to flee. At the police station Hollan managed to slip out of his handcuffs and fled the building. He was apprehended a short distance away and struggled with officers who had to use substantial force to subdue him, according to the arrest report.

Serfass accepted the plea and placed Hollan on probation for a year on each count, running concurrently. Holland was also ordered to get both drug and alcohol and mental health evaluations and follow any recommendations for treatment, zero tolerance on drug or alcohol use, and render three hours of community service per month while on probation.

Mischief plea

Nicholas Paul Francois, 21, of Middletown, N.Y., pleaded guilty to one count each of criminal mischief, as a felony three, and driving under the influence (DUI)

Francois was arrested on Dec. 8, 2009, outside That Consignment Shop along SR940 in Kidder Township. Township police observed a vehicle parked in front of the business with damages to the vehicle. Upon further investigation officers observed windows to the business and door broke. Francois was found lying inside the business intoxicated.

He admitted that the vehicle was his but did not remember going into the business, which sustained substantial damages.

Francois admitted to substance abuse problems and has been in the county jail since the night of his arrest.

Serfass accepted the pleas. On the mischief count he was sentenced to time served (77 days) to one year in jail and supply a DNA sample and pay the $250 fee. On the DUI count he was sentenced to serve 48 hours to six months in jail, a fine of $1,000, one year license suspension and get a D&A evaluation. The jail terms run concurrently.

Serfass also ordered restitution of $813 to the store owners. The rest of the damages, over $6,000, was covered by insurance.

Each defendant must pay all court costs and a $50 per month supervision fee while on probation or parole.

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