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Two enter guilty pleas

Published May 08. 2012 05:01PM

Four defendants in pending cases, and who were scheduled to pick a jury Monday, May 7, to hear their case, instead entered pleas bargains with the district attorney's office and entered guilty pleas.

Isaa Houston Purcell, 33, of Palmerton, pleaded to one count each of simple assault and endangering the welfare of a child.

Purcell admitted to a mutual assault with Gino Tomaino which occurred on April 21, 2010, at the Carbon Mini Mart at S. First and Iron sts., in Lehighton.

The endangering case occurred on July 10, 2011, in the area of 248 E. Kline Ave., Lansford.

Lansford police responded to that area for a report of a child wondering unattended, in diapers, in the street. Upon arrival officers found that child and two others unattended, one in a highchair in a home. Found in the home was Purcell, the father, who was unconscious and apparently under the influence of drugs.

After police called for an ambulance Pursell awoke and became combative. He was taken to the hospital but left, refusing medical treatment.

Purcell told President Judge Roger N. Nanovic II that since the incident he had gone through a drug rehabilitation program for 60 days and is continuing counseling.

In a favorable plea bargain, the Commonwealth agreed to have Purcell sentenced below the mitigated range of state sentencing guidelines, which had called for a nine month prison term.

Nanovic sentenced him to time served (34 days) to 18 months in prison followed by two years probation on the endangering charge and one year probation on the assault count, concurrent to the endangering. Nanovic said he was agreeing to the lower sentence because of the efforts made by Purcell to address his problem and the fact that his prior criminal contact was over 10 years ago.

He also ordered Purcell to continued his counseling and imposed zero tolerance on drug use. He also was ordered to have no contact with Tomaino.

Purcell must also pay court costs, which average about $1,000, and a $50 per month supervision fee while on probation or parole.

Jeffrey Cope, 24, of Palmerton, pleaded to one count of persistent disorderly conduct for an incident at the county prison, where he is an inmate. He was charged with assault on inmate Todd Deem on Sept. 20, 2011. The assault count was dropped in a plea bargain.

Nanovic deferred sentencing to a later date when Cope will be sentenced on other charges he had pleaded guilty.

Trevor Shawn Strohl, 31, of Palmerton, pleaded to one count each of simple assault and recklessly endangering another person before Judge Steven R. Serfass.

Strohl was arrested by Nesquehoning police on Dec. 30, 2010, as the result of a domestic incident involving Rochelle Wilson as the victim.

Police said the two were involved in an altercation during which Wilson had a bread knife and a struggle ensued. As Strohl attempted to get the knife from Wilson she sustained a cut to her arm.

Brandice Boner, 31, of Lansford, pleaded to one count of possession of drug paraphernalia. She was arrested by Summit Hill police on Nov. 16, 2010, at 303 Lansford Court in the Lansford Townhouses.

On that date police went to the residence to serve a search warrant. During the search a pipe was found that was used to smoke cocaine. Boner admitted the pipe was hers.

Serfass deferred sentencing in both cases to May 14 at 9 a.m.

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