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Coaldale man's appeal of assault conviction rejected by state court

Published August 14. 2013 05:05PM

A Coaldale man who was found guilty by a jury of simple assault and recklessly endangering charges lost his appeal in the Pennsylvania Superior Court to have the sentence overturned.

George Joseph Bonetsky, 35, who resided at 262 Fourth St., in his appeal challenged the sufficiency of evidence. The higher court rejected his argument that the commonwealth failed to establish the offenses culpability and agreed with the Schuylkill County Trial Judge Jacqueline Russell that there was sufficient evidence upon which a jury could find him guilty.

After the jury found him guilty, Russell on Oct. 3, 2012, imposed a sentence of 10 days to 24 months imprisonment on the count of simple assault, 24 months probation, and 50 hours of community service on the recklessly endangering another person count, and he was fined $200 for reckless driving.

At the trial, the evidence presented was on Jan. 14, 2012, Bonetsky's wife, Angelique, and her friend, Lauren Ritchie, were moving personal belongings to the Bonetsky's new residence using Ritchie's truck. While the truck was parked on Fourth Street, Bonetsky got into an argument with his wife, entered his vehicle and left the area only to return and drive toward and hit his wife, who was standing by Ritchie's truck.

On Aug. 27, 2012, a jury found him guilty of the two charges.

In his petition Bonetsky argued the evidence was insufficient to allow the jury to reach a verdict that he acted in a negligent manner in causing bodily injury to his wife, acted recklessly because what happened was a mere accident.

The Superior Court ruled, "We reject Bonetsky's argument that the Commonwealth failed to establish the offenses culpability because in this (instant) case the Commonwealth presented eyewitnesses whose testimony fit together to establish the guilt beyond a reasonable doubt."

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