4 enter guilty pleas; 3 placed in ARD program
Four persons entered guilty pleas to pending criminal charges on Tuesday in Carbon County court while three others were placed in the county's Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition (ARD) probation program for first time offenders. All appeared before Judge Steven R. Serfass.
Kareem Jiama Walker, 24, of Tamaqua, and formerly of Lansford, pleaded to one count each of simple assault and possession of a controlled substance-heroin.
He was arrested on Jan. 29, at 208 W. Patterson St., Lansford, when police were dispatched to the residence to a report of an assault. The victim was listed as Kyle Nalesnik. The two got into an argument over a girlfriend, police said.
When taken into custody police found heroin on Walker.
Serfass accepted the plea but deferred sentencing to a later date.
Andrew M. Petrucci, 22, of Albrightsville, pleaded to one count of driving under the influence (DUI). He was arrested on Sept. 5, 2009, along SR903 in Kidder Township by state police at Fern Ridge. Given a test, the result was .08BAC.
Serfass placed Petrucci on probation for six months and ordered he pay a fine of $300 and get a drug and alcohol (D&A) evaluation and follow any recommendation for treatment.
Andrette Haupt, 50, of Lansford, pleaded to one count of retail theft, as a felony three. She was arrested on Sept. 4, 2009, by Nesquehoning police for an incident at Redner's Warehouse Market when she attempted to remove $11.73 worth of items from the store without paying for them. Haupt pleaded guilty to a retail theft charge for an incident in Lansford about two weeks ago.
In accepting the plea Serfass warned Haupt that because of prior arrests the latest conviction is now a felony. He warned her any future convictions would mean a jail term.
Serfass placed her on probation for two years and ordered her to render 50 hours of community service and supply a DNA sample and pay the costs. She was given credit for one day spent in jail on the charge.
Adam Venerio, 26, of Lansford, pleaded to one count of criminal trespass. He was arrested for an incident on Jan. 28 at 3 Ludlow St., in Summit Hill. He entered an apartment at that location at a time when he was not permitted to do so or had no right to be there.
Serfass placed him on probation for six months, giving him credit for seven days spent in jail on the charge.
Three were placed in the ARD program. If they successfully complete all conditions of the program their record will be wiped clean. If they fail to complete the program, or are revoked from it, the Commonwealth reserves the right to prosecute them on all pending charges. A person does not admit guilt in entering the program.
Those placed by Serfass included:
Jason M. Brunda, 27, of Nesquehoning, was placed for a year on a DUI charge. He was arrested on Sept. 29, 2009, along Railroad St., in Nesquehoning. Given a test, the result was .09BAC and also indicated the presence of a controlled substance.
He was ordered to pay $450 for the costs of the program, get a D&A evaluation, render nine hours of community service and his license was suspended for 60 days.
Steven Chad Heydt, 27, of Jim Thorpe, was placed for a year on a DUI charge. He was arrested on Jan. 9 along SR209 in Nesquehoning. Given a test, the result was .10BAC.
Serfass ordered he pay $400 for the costs of the program, get a D&A evaluation, render 10 hours of community service and his license was suspended for 30 days.
Billie Jean Kwatkoski, 21, of Albrightsville, was placed for a year on a DuI charge. She was arrested on Nov. 5, 2009, along SR940 by Kidder Township police. Given a test, the result was .23BAC.
She was ordered to pay $450 for the costs of the program, get a D&A evaluation, render 25 hours of community service and her license was suspended for 90 days.
Each defendant in the above cases must also pay court costs and a $50 per month supervision fee while on probation.