Woman who made threats with knife enters guilty plea
A Palmerton woman, who wielded a knife at several persons in a Lansford apartment while threatening them, entered guilty pleas in Carbon County court on Tuesday. She was one of several defendants in pending criminal cases to enter pleas before Senior Judge Richard W. Webb.
Ashly Nicole Tansley, 21, pleaded to one count each of simple assault and resisting arrest for an incident that occurred on Sept. 20, 2009, at 149 W. Ridge St. in Lansford. In a plea agreement more serious charges of aggravated assault were dropped.
Tansley, who told Webb she didn't remember what happened, was spared a jail term, which was recommended by the DA's office in the plea agreement. The plea agreement recommended a six month minimum jail term.
Webb rejected it stating the incident was more of a mental health issue. Tansley told Webb, "I remember flipping out. I don't remember anything with the knife."
Police said Tansley went after four persons in the apartment at the time and threatened at least one, Cynthia Cauthen, with a knife.
On the simple assault count Webb placed her on probation for 23 months and ordered she get a mental health evaluation and follow all recommendations for treatment. She was also ordered to make restitution of $500 in damages done to the borough police cruiser. On the resisting count, in which police said it took three officers to bring Tansley under control, the same sentence was imposed running concurrently.
Other defendants who entered pleas included:
Brian Keith Gettig, 51, of Hazleton, pleaded to one count of harassment by communication. He was charged by Weatherly police with making 19 harassing calls to his daughter, Brooke Ann Gettig, in February of 2008.
Gettig said it was over a money matter and he was sorry for what happened. He served 159 days in the Schuylkill County prison for a similar incident involving another person, it was noted.
Defense Atty. Cynthia Ray said at the time of the incidents Gettig was having a hard time dealing with the death of his father.
Webb placed him on probation for a year and ordered him to continue mental health counseling.
Sherri Simmons, 32, of Lehighton, pleaded to one count of simple assault. She was arrested on Aug. 16, 2009, at her residence with Lori Newhart the listed victim. The incident occurred at a garage and reportedly was the out-growth of a property dispute.
Webb placed her on probation for a year and ordered she get a drug and alcohol (D&A) evaluation and follow any recommendation for treatment and continue anger management counseling.
Rock-Eagle Acevedo, 24, of Jim Thorpe, pleaded to one count of harassment as a summary offense. He was arrested on Nov. 13, 2009, by state police for an incident involving Lori Ann Meckes at 550 Behrens Rd., in Penn Forest Township.
Webb imposed a fine of $100 and ordered restitution to the victim of $560.
Samuel L. Johnson, 34, of Chester, pleaded to one count each of defiant trespass and persistent disorderly conduct. He was arrested on Feb. 6 at the Country Inn & Suites in Franklin Township where he caused a disturbance and was told to leave. He later returned and was cited for the trespass count.
Webb placed him on probation for a year on each count, running concurrently.
Jeffrey Wentz, 41, of Lehighton, pleaded to one count of driving under the influence (DUI). He was arrested on July 6, 2009, along Delaware Avenue in Palmerton. Given a test, the result was .19BAC.
Webb deferred sentencing to give Wentz a chance to apply for placement in the Intermediate Punishment (IPP) program.
Brandice Andrea Boner, 19, of Nesquehoning, pleaded to one count of theft. She was arrested by Nesquehoning police for an incident involving Dena Spack as the victim. Boner picked up the wallet of the victim from a counter at the CVS drug store. The wallet contained money and credit cards. She was later arrested by police near the store.
Webb placed her on probation for a year and ordered she have no contact with the victim or her family.
Larry S. Heffelfinger, 38, of Lehighton, pleaded to one count of DUI. He was arrested on Sept. 30, 2009, along Fourth St., in Lehighton. Given a test, the result wa s.15BAC.
Webb sentenced him to serve five days to six months in jail, a fine of $300, one year license suspension and to get a D&A evaluation.
He begins the jail term at 9 a.m. on Friday, April 9.
Eric Lee Matthews, 32, of Rigeway, S.C., pleaded guilty in two pending cases. He pleaded to one count each of theft by deception. He was charged by state police at Fern Ridge with taking $4,500 from Martha Rehder of Albrightsville, Penn Forest Township, to do work at her property and then by state police at Lehighton for taking $2,135.70 from Bruce Ciavordoni and Edward Grestas, of Mountain View Drive, Penn Forest Township, to do work at property they owned. Troopers said Matthews never did any or the work.
Matthews has a pending burglary charge in Northampton County and in an agreement is the DA's office, he was sentenced by Webb to serve 12 and a half to 25 days in jail with credit for 25 days and was paroled.
Part of the agreement was that Matthews made full resititution and paid all court costs prior to the plea, which he did.
Mark Allen Solt, 40, of Lehighton, pleaded to one count of DUI. He was arrested Aug. 24, 2009, along N. First St., in Mahoning Township. Given a test, the result was .16BAC.
Webb placed him on probation for six months and imposed a fine of $300 and ordered he get a D&A evaluation.
John Andrew Blair, 20, of Philadelphia, pleaded to one count of simple assault. He was arrested on April 26, 2008, by state police at Fern Ridge for an incident along Parker Trail in Penn Forest Township with Kyle Loreny the victim.
Webb placed him on probation for a year and ordered restitution of $61.
Sean Francis Leindecker, 42, of Palmerton, pleaded to one count of DUI. He was arrested on Oct. 10, 2009, along SR248 in Lower Towamensing Township by state police. Given a test, the result was .13BAC.
Webb sentenced him to serve five days to six months in jail, a fine of $300, one year license suspension and get a D&A evaluation. He will begin the jail terim on April 12 at 9 a.m. serving three days one week and two days the next week.
James Murray, 32, of Jim Thorpe, pleaded to one count of escape. He was arrested on Nov. 10, 2008, at his residence. Sheriff deputies came to his home to serve a warrant on him. He fled on foot but was caught a short time later.
Webb placed him on probation for a year.
Brian McDonald, 30, of Ashland, pleaded to two counts of harassment by communication. He was arrested on July 11, 2009, by Lehighton police for an incident at Blue Mountain Health Systems Gnaden Huetten Campus, involving Melissa Huyska as the victim. He had a prior relationship with the victim but was told not to contact her. He called her several times at the hospital, where she was employed.
Webb placed him on probation for a year on each count, running concurrently, and ordered he have no contact with the victim. McDonald failed to appear for a plea proceeding last Thursday and had a bench warrant issued for his arrest. He made arrangements to appear and the warrant was never actually served. Webb imposed the costs of the warrant on McDonald.
Adam J. Schaeffer, 20, of Jim Thorpe, pleaded to one count of retail theft. He was arrested by Mahoning Township police for an incident at the Walmart store on Oct. 16, 2009, in which he attempted to take $150.29 worth of merchandise.
Webb placed him on probation for a year. Schaeffer failed to appear for a plea hearing last Thursday and had a bench warrant issued. He was ordered to pay the costs of the warrant.
Michael Macaluso, 40, of Nesquehoning, pleaded to one count of furnishing drug free urine to the probation office. Macaluso appeared at the adult probation office at the courthouse on Sept. 22, 2009, and was asked to submit a urine sample for a drug test. Probation officers found that Macaluso had a baggie containing urine taped to the inner part of his one leg which he was going to submit for the test.
Webb placed him on probation for a year and ordered he render 25 hours of community service. Because of the incident he is also facing a probation violation filed for the original charge.
All defendants sentenced must pay court costs and a $50 per month supervision fee while on probation or parole.