State court rejects Coaldale man's appeal of state sentence
A Coaldale man lost his appeal in Pennsylvania Superior Court from a sentence imposed on him to do time in a state correctional institution, after being convicted by a jury of three counts of possession of a controlled substance.
Jeffrey Schaller, of 227 W. Ruddle St., was sentenced by Judge John E. Domalakes on Oct. 20, 2008 in Pottsville, to serve one to three years in a state correctional institution, and when released to serve five years on probation.
He appealed the sentence to the Superior Court, which affirmed. Domalakes had summarized the facts underlying the appeal; as follows:
"Jonathan Butroch testified that he was addicted to cocaine, had overdosed and almost died, realized that he could not refrain from purchasing illegal controlled substance as long as a dealer remained in business, and, therefore, in order to save his own life approached Coaldale police and informed on Schaller's drug activities. Police used Butroch as a confidential informant and in June 2007, he went to Schaller's home and purchased two bags of crack cocaine and 98.6 grams of marijuana."
Police then brought charges against Schaller and a jury subsequently convicted him of three counts of possession.
In his appeal Schaller raised two questions whether the trial judge abused his discretion in failing to order a new trial due to the fact that the evidentiary weight of the commonwealth's chief witness (Butroch) was so weak as to be incapable of believe as a matter of law, and whether Butroch's testimony was sufficient to establish the crimes charged against him.
The state court rejected those contentions in its opinion.