Two drunk drivers get prison terms; face big restitution bills
Two men were sentenced to Carbon County prison terms on Tuesday on driving under the influence (DUI) charges, and both face big restitution bills for damages to individuals and property. The two appeared before Judge Joseph J. Matika.
John Moser, 28, of Lehighton, was sentenced to a total prison term of six months and 10 days to one day less 24 months on counts of DUI and simple assault; and also for probation violations.
Moser previously pleaded guilty to DUI and simple assault.
Moser was arrested by state police for assaulting Anthony Keller in Bowmanstown. Keller told Matika that Moser "sucker punched" him at his residence. He said Moser came to the home upset over a custody dispute with his ex-wife.
Keller suffered a fractured cheek bone and had to undergo surgery and followup care. He told Matika, "I just want justice done."
Matika told Moser that he had an obvious problem with alcohol but has done nothing to address it. He said simply saying he stopped drinking was not enough.
Matika told Moser, "You're out of control."
On the DUI charge Matika sentenced him to serve 10 days to six months in jail, a fine of $500, one year license suspension, get a drug and alcohol (D&A) evaluation and follow any recommendation for treatment, zero tolerance imposed on D&A use, and render 25 hours of community service.
On the simple assault count, Matika sentenced him to serve two to one day less nine months followed by one year probation, all consecutive to the DUI charge. He was also ordered to make total restitution for medical bills for Keller and other expenses of $28,003.75. Further he was ordered to render a total of 50 hours of community service, get a D&A evaluation, zero tolerance on D&A use, pay court costs, $50 per month supervision fee while on parole or probation, and have no contact with Keller.
After the sentencing Matika held a probation violation hearing on petitions filed by the adult probation office. At the time of the new arrests, Moser was on probation for prior DUIs.
Matika found him in violation and resentenced him to one to three months on the first violation and three to six months on a second, all consecutive.
He will begin the jail term on May 28 at 9 a.m.
Matthew Martin Tucker, 42, of Nesquehoning, pleaded guilty to one count of DUI. He was arrested on Aug. 8, 2011, along Catawissa St. in Nesquehoning after being involved in a crash involving two other vehicles and a home.
At the time he was given a test which showed the presence of cocaine in his system.
Tucker told Matika he was addicted to drugs at the time and said he caused a lot of problems for people who didn't deserve it.
He offered an apology to one victim present, Jamie Titus. He said, "I'm sorry for the trouble I caused you. You did nothing wrong to deserve it."
Titus said the apology was accepted but did not help her. She told Matika she lost her career because she can't work in the field she was working in at the time. She added that her life had changed forever, and that she endured multiple injuries and the resulting medical care.
Assistant District Attorney William E. McDonald said in addition to Titus there were multiple victims involved in the incident.
Matika sentenced Tucker to the mandatory provisions of the law to serve 48 hours to six months in jail, a fine of $500, one year license suspension, get a D&A evaluation, zero tolerance on D&A use, render 25 hours of community service, pay court costs, $50 per month supervision fee while on parole, and make restitution totaling $14,215.79.
He began the jail term immediately.