Four enter guilty pleas
Four defendants in pending criminal cases entered guilty pleas on Tuesday in Carbon County court.
Judge Joseph J. Matika accepted the pleas from the following:
Pamela L. Bowman, 35, of Jim Thorpe, pleaded guilty to one count of receiving stolen property, as a misdemeanor two. She was arrested by Jim Thorpe police for an incident at the Jim Thorpe Market that occurred on Aug. 18, 2011, in which she took $12.98 worth of merchandise.
Matika told Bowman she received a break when the district attorney's office agreed to drop a retail theft count, which was rated a felony three, because of two prior convictions. He warned her if she violated the conditions of her sentence, she would face a prison term.
Matika placed her on probation for two years and ordered she make restitution to the market of $12.98, render 100 hours of community service, and stay out of the market.
Geraldine Beatrice May Halada, 21, of Lehighton, pleaded to three counts of possession of drug paraphernalia. She was arrested on Sept. 8, 2010, by Lehighton police following a traffic stop. During a consent search police found two pipes used for smoking marijuana and a digital scale in her possession.
She was previously placed in the county's Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition (ARD) probation program for first time offenders but was revoked from it because she was found to be still using drugs.
Matika placed her on probation for six months on each count, running concurrently, and ordered she get a drug and alcohol (D&A) evaluation and follow any recommendation for treatment, zero tolerance imposed on D&A use, submit to random testing, and render 25 hours of community service.
Derrick John Chris Smith, 51, of Lehighton, pleaded to one count of retail theft, as a felony three. He was arrested on June 8, 2011, at the Giant Market in Mahoning Township. He was charged with taking $42.89 worth of merchandise.
Matika deferred sentencing to a later date.
David Ortiz Alvarado, 44, of Palmerton, pleaded to one count of driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol. He was arrested on May 13, 2007, in Lehighton. Given a test, the result was .25BAC.
He was previously placed in the ARD program but was revoked for violating the conditions.
Matika sentenced him to serve 72 hours to six months in jail, a fine of $1,000, license suspended for a year, get a D&A evaluation and render 25 hours of community service.
Alvarado was given credit for serving 139 days in jail on the charge and was immediately paroled. He told Matika he did not post bail on the charge so the money could be used by his family.
Two first time offenders were placed in the ARD program by Matika.
If they successfully completes all conditions of the program their record will be wiped clean. If they fail to complete it, or are revoked from it, they can be prosecuted on all pending charges. A person does not admit guilt in entering the program.
Kimberly Ann Hammond Alvarado, 39, of Summit Hill, was placed for two years on a charge of acquiring a controlled substance by misrepresentation.
She was charged by Mahoning Township police for an incident at the pharmacy at the Walmart store. Police alleged she forged a prescription to obtain 100 oxycodone pills.
Matika ordered her to pay $500 for the cost of the program, get a D&A evaluation, continuing her drug counseling program, and render 75 hours of community service.
Mark Jeremy Bittenbender, 32, of Saylorsburg R.1, was placed in the program for a year on a DUI charge. He was arrested on Feb. 20, 2011, along Pohopoco Drive in Towamensing Township by state police at Lehighton. Given a test, the result was .11BAC.
Matika ordered he pay $400 for the cost of the program, get a D&A evaluation, license suspended for 60 days, and render 50 hours of community service.
Each defendant sentenced, or placed in the ARD program, must pay court costs, which average close to $1,000, and pay a $50 per month supervision fee while on probation or parole.