Eleven enter guilty pleas
Eleven defendants in pending criminal cases entered guilty pleas on Thursday in Carbon County court.
Judge Steven R. Serfass accepted the pleas from the following.
Nico Anthony Botch, 30, of Hazleton, pleaded to one county of harassment by communication. He was arrested by Lansford police on June 17, 2010, for making inappropriate phone calls to a then 11-year-old female resident of the borough. He would make lude remarks to the girl, police said.
Police traced the phone number to a residence in Hazleton where Botch was living at the time. He at first denied making the calls but later admitted to it.
Botch is currently serving a long state prison term for similar criminal acts including attempting to lure a young girl into his vehicle.
Serfass sentenced him to serve four to 12 months in prison, but the term runs concurrent with the state sentence he is currently serving. He also must not have any contact with the victim or her family.
Walter Edward Watson III, 22, of Nesquehoning, pleaded to one count of possession of drug paraphernalia. He was arrested on June 29, 2010, in the 100 block of W. Catawissa St., in Nesquehoning. Police stopped him because there was an outstanding warrant for his arrest issued out of Northampton County.
While taking him into custody police found prescription pills on him which he did not have a prescription.
Serfass placed him on probation for a year and gave him credit for 73 days spent in jail on the charge.
Bernard Edward Anderson, 40, of King of Prussia, Montgomery County, pleaded to one count of unauthorized use of an automobile. He was arrested on Sept. 6, 2010, along the northeast extension of the turnpike in Kidder Township, at the SR940 exit, operating 2007 Jeep. He was initially stopped by state police at Pocono for an expired inspection sticker. It was later learned he was not authorized to be driving the vehicle.
Serass placed him on probation for two years and ordered he render three hours of community work per month while on probation.
Lori A. Kipikasa, 39, of Weatherly, pleaded to one count of driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol. She was arrested on Dec. 23, 2010, while involved in an accident along Main St., in Weatherly. Her vehicle struck a parked vehicle causing extensive damages to both vehicles. Given a test, the result was .16BAC.
Serfass deferred sentencing to a later date so Kipikasa could apply for admittance into the county's Intermediate Punishment Program (IPP) with electronic monitoring.
Kristopher Michael Lyden, 32, of Jim Thorpe, pleaded to one count of default on appearance. Lyden was sentenced to serve three to six months in prison by Senior Judge Richard W. Webb and ordered to report to the county prison on Feb. 1. He failed to report and a bench warrant was issued for his arrest. He was later picked up in Lehighton.
Serfass placed him on probation for 18 months. Lyden is currently in the county jail serving a probation violation sentence.
Blaine Z. Smith Jr., 30, of Lansford, pleaded to one count of harassment, as a summary offense. He was arrested on March 26 by Nesquehoning police for an incident along W. Catawissa St. He was involved in a domestic altercation with his wife, Jennifer Smith.
A charge of simple assault was dismissed because his wife did not want to pursue that charge, according to Assistant District Attorney Michael Greek.
Serfass imposed a fine of $300.
Leroy Stevens, 46, of Weissport, pleaded to one count each of false identification to law enforcement and driving under suspension-DUI related. He was arrested on Feb. 19 by Nesquehoning police in the parking lot of the Dollar General Store along E. Catawissa St. Police checked while he was in the lot as the store was closed. He gave a false name. He said he gave the false name because he had no license.
Serfass accepted the plea but deferred sentencing to a later date. Under mandatory provisions of the state drunken driving law he faces a minimum jail term of 60 days on the suspension count.
Jeanne Theresa Thorpe, 38, of Nesquehoning, pleaded to one count of forgery-altering a prescription. She was arrested by Nesquehoning police after she presented a forged prescription to be filled at the CVS drugstore in the borough on Oct. 10, 2010. She attempted to obtain 150 oxycodone pills.
Serfass placed her on probation for 24 months and ordered she obtain a drug and alcohol (D&A) evaluation and follow any recommendation for treatment and render 15 hours of community service.
George Heffelfinger, 36, of Lansford, pleaded to one count each of terroristic threats and simple assault. He was arrested for an incident on Dec. 14, 2010, at a residence along W. Kline Ave. He was accused of assaulting a female during which he ripped off her clothing and threatened her. When she attempted to leave the residence he dragged her back inside by the hair, the police report stated.
Serfass accepted the plea but deferred sentencing to a later date.
Jeremy Neil Tobin, 32, of Jim Thorpe, pleaded to one count of possession of drug paraphernalia. He was arrested on Feb. 24 by Summit Hill police at 303 Lansford Court. Police were called to the scene by the housing development manager who was in the process of evicting Tobin.
When police entered the apartment they found a crack cocaine pipe which Tobin admitted belonged to him.
Serfass placed him on probation for six months and ordered he not enter onto the townhouse property.
George A. Parker, 28, of Toms River, N.J., pleaded to one count of disorderly conduct, as a summary offense. He was arrested on Jan. 23 along SR209 during a vehicle stop. He was a passenger in the vehicle and found was drug paraphernalia. The charge was reduced to the summary offense in a plea agreement.
Serfass imposed a fine of $300.
All defendants sentenced must pay court costs and a $50 per month supervision fee while on probation or parole.