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Mahanoy City man admits to homicide by vehicle while DUI

Published January 30. 2013 05:03PM

A Mahanoy City man pleaded guilty in Schuylkill County court to homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence (DUI) in a crash that took the life of a school teacher. And a Tamaqua woman pleaded to criminal charges for incidents in the borough. President Judge William E. Baldwin accepted the pleas but deferred sentencing.

Edward Charles Boyle, 39, Mahanoy City, pleaded guilty to charges to homicide by vehicle while DUI and five counts of DUI as charged by Trooper Michael Marinchak.

Information filed to court states on Sept. 18, 2011, a crash occurred between a car, driven by Boyle, and a motorcycle, operated by Jeffrey Alan Donnelly, on a road just outside Mahanoy City, and just east of Cordorus Road in Ryan Township.

Donnelly, who was a teacher in the Mahanoy Area School District, died at the scene of injuries sustained in the crash. Boyle faces a mandatory minimum sentence of three to six years in a state prison on the homicide by vehicle while DUI charge.

He previously attempted to enter a guilty plea in the case but it was rejected by the court after testimony was heard from members of the Donnelly family.

A presentence investigation (PSI) report was ordered prepared by the adult probation office and sentence was deferred to a later date. .

April Lynn Miller, 34, of 4 Cherry St., Tamaqua, entered a guilty plea to a number of criminal charges and Baldwin ordered a PSI report. Sentencing was scheduled for a later date.

On July 10, 2011, she was cited by Tamaqua Chief Dave Mattsen, with retail theft of $17 in merchandise from the Family Dollar Store at 137 N. Railroad St. On Aug. 31, 2012, she was cited by Tamaqua Cpl. Henry Woods, with two counts of forgery, three counts of receiving stolen property, one count each of criminal attempt to commit forgery and criminal attempt to commit theft.

Robert James Fitzpatrick, 49, Valley View Village, Hegins Township, pleaded guilty to driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol for an incident on Dec. 13, 2011, on Center Avenue in Schuylkill Haven. He was cited by Patrolman Kenneth A. Jacoby. A PSI was ordered and sentencing was deferred to a later date.


Heather Marie Bernitsky, 33, of 125A Coal St., Cumbola, Blythe Township, pleaded guilty to DUI of alcohol and other charges and was placed by Judge James P. Goodman into the Intermediate Punishment Program (IPP) to serve a probationary period of six months. The sentence is effective Tuesday, Feb. 2, and she must comply to the following conditions:

Serve 10 days in the county prison with credit for serving two days and she is eligible for work release, followed by 40 days under house arrest with electronic monitoring and pay the required daily fee. She also must pay costs of prosecution, a fine of $750, pay $100 to the Substance Abuse Education (SAE) fund, $100 to MCARE fund, a $50 monthly supervision fee, attend the alcohol highway safety school, complete outpatient counseling treatment, submit to random urine tests, complete 20 hours of community service, pay $76.94 to Health Net Lab, $50 for a bench warrant fee, drivers license suspended for 12 months and must install an ignition interlock on her vehicle to monitor if the driver has consumed alcohol beverages.

On a charge of failing to have car insurance was fined $200; and on a charge of failing to drive on roadway laned for traffic fined $25 and costs. Bernitsky was cited by Trooper Alyssa J. Becker on Nov. 5, 2011, when stopped on SR61 in North Manheim Township.

Robert Joseph Kline Jr., 26, Pottsville, pleaded guilty to charges of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia and was sentenced by Judge John E. Domalakes to serve five years on probation, pay $100 to SAE fund, $50 to Criminal Justice Enhancement Account (CJEA) fund, a $50 monthly supervision fee, perform 20 hours of community service, make restitution of $113 to Bethlehem Regional Lab, and $50 to district attorney's office for bench warrant.

Kline was cited by Pottsville Patrolman Michael P. Stank, last March 12 at his resident's at 609 W. Race St.

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