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Young man spared prison term because of disabilitites

Published March 01. 2010 05:00PM

A Danville youth, who pulled a knife on a clerk at the Fegley Mini Market in New Ringgold on Sept. 8, 2008, entered a guilty plea to a charge of criminal attempt to commit robbery recently in Schuylkill County court and escaped a jail sentence because of physical disabillities. He did, however draw a long and harsh probation sentence from Judge Jacqueline Russell.

John Maculloch, 23, was placed on probation for 10 years with the first 12 months with electornic monitoring and pay an initial fee of $50 plus $15 per day; pay a $50 per month supevision fee, perform 100 hours of community service and be subject to special conditions.

He shall have no contact with Sabrina Miller, who was the clerk, or Fegley's Mini-Market, and shall continue with his schooling, following which he shall obtain and continue with full-time employment, if available. He shall obtain a mental health evaluation and comply with any recommended treatment. He shall continue with seeing his psychologist and any other mental health provider. He shall not consume any alcoholic beverages or illegal controlled substance. He shall submit to random drug and alcohol testing.

While serving on electronic monitoring, he must remain at his residence with the exception of going to school, employment, medical or mental health appointments and for church services, unlesss specially authorized by the adult probation office. Following the year of service on electronic monitoring, he shall be subject to a curfew for two years during which time he shall be at his residence from dusk to dawn each day with the exception that he may leave the home for school, employment, medical appointments and church.

The court ruled although Maculloch's sentence is below the mitigated range based on his social history, the testimony offered in court which establishes Maculloch is emotionally and mentally challenged and that his disabilities had been compounded as a result of a severe head injury suffered in a motor vehicle accident.

He has admitted his guilt, shown remorse, is being supervised by his mother and is continuing with schooling. "In light of this," Russell ruled, "it is not found that a prison sentence would promote his rehabilitation or be beneficial in preventing a re-offense." District Attorney James P. Goodman did not opppose a non-confinement sentence.

Maculloch also pleaded guilty to possessing an instrument of crime and was placed on a concurrent five year probation. The sentence imposed by court begins March 1.

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