Defendant changes mind, pleads guilty; verdicts reached in two trials
A defendant scheduled to go on trial Tuesday changed his mind and entered into a plea bargain and pleaded guilty to a new charge, while verdicts were reached in two criminal trials held Tuesday.
Joseph W. Oliver Jr., 38, of Jim Thorpe, entered a plea to one count of possession of an instrument of crime after the Commonwealth agreed to amend the original complaint filed against him.
Oliver was originally charged by state police at Lehighton with three counts of sexual abuse of children-possession of child pornography.
A jury was selected Monday to hear the case but Assistant District Attorney James Lavelle and Defense Attorney Robert Sauman reached a plea agreement.
Troopers alleged that Oliver gifted a computer to a friend. Found on the computer were images of child pornography, it was charged.
President Judge Roger N. Nanovic II accepted the plea and placed Oliver on probation for two years.
He was also ordered to get a mental health evaluation and follow any recommendation for treatment, not to have in his possession a computer, pay court costs (which average about $1,000), and pay a $50 per month supervision fee while on probation.
Two trials were held Tuesday and verdicts reached.
Nichola Mark Haspe, 31, of Coaldale, was found guilty of resisting arrest, persistent disorderly conduct, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Haspe was arrested by Lansford police for an incident on April 3, 2011.
Police were dispatched to 17 N. Walnut St. for a report of a robbery that had just occurred. A male suspect was reported running away and high on bath salts. The suspect was later identified as Haspe. He ran from police but was eventually taken into custody and charged. He was never charged with the initial robbery report.
The jury got the case about 4:20 p.m. and returned in about an hour with its verdict.
Judge Steven R. Serfass, on the motion of Assistant District Attorney Jean A. Engler, who prosecuted the case, moved to revoke Haspe's bail.
Bail was revoked by Serfass and reset at $5,000 straight cash. Haspe was unable to post the bail and was remanded to the county prision. It was noted that Haspe was on state probation at the time and the Commowealth has already moved to remove that probation.
Public defender Attorney Joseph Perilli, represented Haspe.
Keith Norbin Mcinaw, 51, of Pocono Pines, was found not guilty of fleeing and eluding police and driving under the influence (DUI).
Mcinaw was arrested by state police at Lehighton following an incident on Oct. 17, 2011.
State trooper Anthony Doblovsky was on routine patrol at Spurce Hollow Road and Hahns Dairy Road in Lower Towamensing Township about 8:30 p.m. when he observed two motorcycles traveling erratically.
Doblovsky presued the two bikes and a chase followed which ended with one biker, identified as Scott Kelly, 35, of Effort, stopping along Trachsville Hill Road in Towamensing Township. The other biker continued on.
While at the scene with Kelly, Doblovsky was told of a bike crash a distance down the road from him. That biker was identified as Mcinaw. He was injured and taken to the Lehigh Valley Hospital, Salisbury Township.
A blood sample was taken and revealed a .05BAC.
Mcinaw claimed he did not know he was being pursued by the trooper as he was ahead of Kelly. He also claimed he never heard lights or siren on the patrol unit. He admitted to police that he had three beers prior to the incident but was not under the influence. Under Pennsylvania law a person is considered under the influence with a .08BAC or higher.
A in vehicle video of the chase was shown the jury but Mcinaw's cycle was never actually seen on the video, only that of Kelly.
Court records indicate that Kelly is scheduled to plead guilty to DUI and six motor vehicle code violations on May 17.
The jury got the case from Judge Joseph J. Matika about 4 p.m. and returned with its verdict at about 5:10 p.m.
Mcinaw was also charged with 19 motor vehicle code violations which Matika must rule on since they are summary offenses.
Assistant District Attorney Michael S. Greek prosecuted the case and Attorney Erik J. Conrad represented Mcinaw.