Fourteen enter guilty pleas
Fourteen defendants in pending criminal cases entered guilty pleas on Tuesday in Carbon County court.
The pleas were accepted by Senior Judge Richard W. Webb from the following:
James Backhouse, 45, of Nesquehoning, pleaded to one count of theft by receiving stolen property. He was arrested by Kidder Township police for an incident on Jan. 11, 2009, in connection with the theft of a 2002 Honda CRV and other items from victims in the Lake Harmony area of the township.
Webb sentenced him to time served (41 days) to one year in jail and he was paroled. He was also ordered to pay total restitution of $3,100. He will not be released from prison until he can provide a pre-parole plan approved by the adult probation office.
John A. Fikentscher, 32, of Jim Thorpe, pleaded to one count of bad check, as a summary offense. He was arrested by Lehighton police for issuing a bad check to Liberty Oil Company for $382.35.
Webb imposed a fine of $100. The restitution has already been paid to the victim, it was noted.
George D. Hiller II, 33, of Jim Thorpe, pleaded to one count of operating a vehicle without a interlock device as required. He was stopped on April 14 along Center St., in Jim Thorpe, and did not have the device on the vehicle he was driving as was required for a prior driving under the influence (DUI) conviction.
Webb placed him on probation for 90 days and imposed a fine of $100.
Danielle D. Eremus, 22, of Lehighton, pleaded to one count of theft by receiving stolen property. She was arrested by Lehighton police for the theft of a bank card and credit card of her father and using it to make purchases. She was previously placed in the county's Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition (ARD) probation program for first time offenders but was revoked for violating conditions.
Webb placed her on probation for a year and ordered she make restitution of $79.50 and also must submit to random drug testing.
Stewart Allen Counterman Jr., 30, of Lansford, formerly of Lehighton, pleaded to two counts of harassment, as summary offenses. He was arrested on Jan. 28 by Franklin Township police for an incident involving James Taschler, Miriam Houbawski and Joseph Counterman listed as the victims in the police complaint.
Webb imposed jail terms of 10 to 30 days on each charge, running consecutively and total fines of $200. He was given credit for 20 days spent in jail on the charges and was immediately paroled. He must also make restitution of $300.
Randy Allen Highland, 43, of Lehighton, pleaded to one count of DUI. He was arrested on March 20 along Pohopoco Drive in Towamensing Township by Beltzville Park rangers. Given a test, the result was .16BAC.
As a first offense, Webb placed him on probation for six months and ordered he pay a fine of $300 and must get a drug and alcohol (D&A) evaluation and follow any recommendation for treatment.
Mark Joseph Dacosta, 28, of Lehighton, pleaded to one count of theft by receiving stolen property. He was arrested by Lehighton police for taking various antique firearms of his brother, Brian Dacosta, and then selling them.
Webb sentenced him to time served (286 days) to one day less 24 months in jail and immediately paroled him. Webb also imposed zero tolerance on D&A use. It was noted the stolen firearms have been returned to the victim.
Zachary Hoffman, 22, of Lehighton, pleaded to one count of harassment, as a summary offense. He was charged by Lehighton police for an incident on Feb. 12 involving Stacy Behler as the victim. Police said the incident was domestic in nature.
Webb imposed a fine of $100.
Amanda Susan Grabar, 22, of Conshohocken, pleaded guilty to one count of theft. She was arrested by state police at Lehighton for taking $2 from a trooper while she was at the barracks waiting for a relative to come and pick her up. The report indicated Grabar asked the trooper to exchange $2 she had that were wet for $2 dry ones so she could make a purchase from a vending machine in the lobby of the barracks. After placing the $2 on the counter and receiving the dry ones, she took back the original $2 and used also used them in the machine.
Webb placed her on probation for six months.
Floyd Edward Bobst, 46, of Lehighton, pleaded to one count each of simple assault and criminal mischief and three of harassment. He was arrested on May 10 by Lehighton police for an incident in the 300 block of S. Second St. with Jennifer Young-Horos and Joseph Koch the listed victims. The incident began inside J.D. Citro's bar and ended up outside where he damaged the victim's parked car. Police noted that Bobst and Horos had a relationship at the time of the incident.
Webb placed him on probation for a year on the assault and mischief counts and 90 days on the harassment charges with all terms running concurrently. He was also ordered to make total restitution of $2,866.16 for damages to the vehicle, have no contact with the Horos and not to enter the bar during the length of the probation.
John L. Deuber, 44, of Bala-Cynwyd, Montgomery County, pleaded to one count of DUI. He was arrested on Dec. 31, 2009, along Longbrook Way in Penn Forest Township by state police at Fern Ridge. Given a test, the result was .11BAC. Deuber's vehicle left the road and crashed into trees and a parked car.
Webb accepted the plea but deferred sentencing.
Jeffrey Hawk, 47, of New Ringgold, pleaded to one count of DUI. He was arrested on Oct. 7, 2009, along Mill Road in Mahoning Township. Given a test, the result was .20BAC.
Webb sentenced him to serve 48 hours to six months in jail, a fine of $500, get a D&A evaluation and license suspended for one year. He will begin the jail term at 9 a.m. on July 30.
John Henry Shiffert, 37, of Tamaqua, pleaded to one count of false reports. He was arrested by Lehighton police for giving false information in a check cashing incident. He was originally placed in the ARD program but was revoked for violating conditions.
Webb placed him on probation for a year.
Keith Alan Johnson, 22, of Summit Hill, pleaded to one count of accidents involving damage to a vehicle and a summary offense of duty to give information at an accident. He was arrested on Oct. 9, 2008, along Broad St., in Beaver Meadows, when his vehicle sideswiped another vehicle and he fled the scene. He was later stopped by Nesquehoning police. He was previously placed in the ARD program but was revoked for violating conditions.
Webb placed him on probation for a year and ordered he make restitution of $914.09. On the summary offense he was fined $25 and costs.
All the defendants sentenced must also pay court costs and a $50 per month supervision fee while on probation or parole.