Carbon man gets prison term for threats; others enter pleas
A Carbon County man was sentenced to a county prison term on Monday after pleading guilty to terroristic threats.
He was one of 17 defendants in pending cases to enter a guilty plea before Judge Steven R. Serfass.
Steven Walck Jr., 28, of Lansford, was sentenced to serve nine to one day less 24 months in prison on the threats count. He also pleaded to one count of harassment and was placed on probation for a year, consecutive to the threats charge.
Walck was arrested by Lehighton police for an incident on April 30 at 230 N. Third St.
Police were told by Lauren Bowman, identified as a ex-girlfriend of Walck, that he had sent threatening and graphic letters to her.
Walck told Serfass he made the threats because he was mad over Bowman giving him a hard time or seeing his daughter.
In addition to the jail term Serfass also ordered Walck to get a mental health evaluation and follow any recommendation for treatment, and have no contact with Bowman.
He was given credit for 27 days already spent in jail on the charge. The prison term also runs consecutive to a probation violation term he is currently serving.
Andrew W. Brucks, 28, of Lehighton, entered pleas in three pending cases.
He pleaded to one count of criminal trespass, as a felony two, for an incident March 6, 2011, along Watson Park Blvd., in Franklin Township. State police at Lehighton responded to the area to a report of a burglary in progress. Troopers found Brucks near the scene.
He pleaded to a second count of criminal trespass for another incident on March 6 in the area of 1670 Owl Creek Rd., in Towamensing Township, where troopers responded to a similar report.
He also pleaded to one count of possession of drug paraphernalia for an incident on July 4, 2011, in the Beltzville Lake Estates area. Troopers responded to the area for another report of a break-in and found Brucks in the area. He was found with drug paraphernalia on him.
Brucks told Serfass he was addicted to drugs when the incidents occurred and has addressed the problem by spending an extended amount of time at Teen Challenge. His attorney, Jon D. Fox, told Serfass that his client did so well in the program that he was asked to stay on and help with others in the program.
On the first trespass count Serfass sentenced him to time served (15 days) to one day less 24 months in prison; on the second count he was placed on probation for 24 months, consecutive to the first count; and on the possession charge he was placed on probation for a year, concurrent to the other counts.
He was also ordered to get a drug and alcohol (D&A) evaluation and follow any recommendation for treatment, supply a DNA sample, render a total of 250 hours of community service, and make total restitution to various victims of $3,347.96.
Other defendants who entered pleas included:
Michael Taschler, 27, of Lehighton, pleaded to one count of indecent exposure and two counts of harassment.
He was arrested by Lehighton police for an incident on June 6 in the area of 215 S. First St. Police said Taschler exposed himself to two females, both 14.
Serfass deferred sentencing to a later date.
Peter Edward Foder, 23, of Blakeslee, pleaded to one count of harassment, as a summary offense.
He was arrested by Lehighton police for an incident on March 10 in the area of 321 S. Second St. with Jean D. Pillon the listed victim. Police responded to a domestic incident involving the two. In a plea bargain a charge of simple assault was dropped.
Serfass sentenced him to time served (10 days in jail), and a fine of $300.
Robert Mcgee, 32, of Jim Thorpe, pleaded to one count of retail theft. He was arrested on Dec. 23, 2012, by Mahoning Township police for an incident at the Giant Market. He took merchandise valued at $259.94.
Serfass placed him on probation for 24 months and ordered he render 100 hours of community service, get a D&A evaluation, zero tolerance imposed on D&A use, and make restitution to Giant Market for $260.
Mcgee is currently in the Lehigh County prison serving a seven month probation violation term.
Brandon Patterson, 26, of Lehighton, pleaded to one count of unauthorized use of a automobile. He was arrested on Nov. 17, 2012, by Lehighton police for using the vehicle of a borough resident without permission.
He was placed on probation for 24 months and ordered to render 100 hours of community service, get a D&A evaluation, and zero tolerance imposed on D&A use.
Lance S. Stein, 30, of Lehighton, pleaded to one count of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance-marijuana.
Stein was arrested on Aug. 24, 2011, when agents of the state Attorney General's office and the county drug task force served a search warrant on his residence at 47 W. Lizard Creek Rd., in East Penn Township. Found in the home was a marijuana growing operation along with scales, pipes for smoking marijuana, and marijuana. Stein admitted growing the drug for sale.
Serfass placed him on probation for 36 months and ordered he get a D&A evaluation, zero tolerance on D&A use, supply a DNA sample, and render 150 hours of community service.
Eric Scott Marfitt, 26, of Palmerton, pleaded to two counts of unlawful killing of big game and one count each of hunting without a license and unlawful devices or methods, all summary offenses.
He was arrested by state game commission officers for shooting two deer in the Lower Towamensing Township area on Nov. 1, 2012. He was observed bringing the two deer out of the woods on a all terrain vehicle (ATV).
On the two unlawful killing counts he was fined a total of $2,000; on the license count he was fined $250; and on the unlawful devices fined $150.
Paul William Gangloff, 34, of Weissport, pleaded to one count of theft. He was arrested by state police at Lehighton for the theft of a boat and trailer from a property in East Penn Township on Aug. 2, 2012, and then selling it at a local scrap yard.
He was placed on probation for 24 months and ordered to render 100 hours of community service. It was noted the boat and trailer were returned and all restitution has been paid.
Anna Marie Miller, 40, of Kunkletown, pleaded to one count of retail theft, as a summary offense. She was arrested by Palmerton police for an incident on May 6 at the Family Dollar Store where she removed items valued at $119.21.
Serfass imposed a fine of $300.
The following defendants entered guilty pleas to driving under the influence (DUI) and related counts.
Mark Brensinger, 27, of New Ringgold, was arrested on Feb. 24 along Blakeslee Blvd., by Mahoning Township police. Given a test, the result was .21BAC.
A first offense, he was placed on probation for six months and ordered to pay a fine of $300, get a D&A evaluation, and render 25 hours of community service.
Eugene F. Blaney Jr., 66, of Kunkletown, was arrested on March 1 along Mauch Chunk St., by Mahoning Township police. Given a test, the result was .25BAC.
Sentencing was deferred so Blaney could apply for placement in the county's Intermediate Punishment Program (IPP) with electronic monitoring.
Brian Kenny, 34, of Jim Thorpe, was arrested on Jan. 8 along SR903 in Jim Thorpe, by state police at Lehighton. Given a test, the result was .13BAC.
Serfass sentenced him to serve five days to six months in jail, a fine of $300, one year license suspension, get a D&A evaluation, and render 25 hours of community service.
He will begin the jail term Aug. 9 at 6 p.m. and serve it on consecutive weekends.
Bruce Allen Laub, 47, of Lehighton, was arrested on Oct. 30, 2012, along Fairyland Drive, in Franklin Township, by state police at Lehighton. Given a test, the result was .23BAC.
Sentencing was deferred to give Laub a chance to apply for the IPP.
Robert C. Thompson, 27, of Lehighton, entered a plea in two pending cases. He was arrested on Nov. 24, 2012, along SR209 in Lehighton by state police. Given a test, the result was .14BAC. The second arrest occurred on Dec. 23, 2012, along Forest Inn Road, in Lower Towamensing Township, by state police. Given a test, the result was .17BAC.
On the first count Serfass sentenced him to serve 48 hours in jail followed by 28 days in the IPP with electronic monitoring, and that is followed by five months on probation. He must pay a fine of $300, one year license suspension, and render 25 hours of community service.
The same conditions were imposed on the second count with the jail terms concurrent but the other terms consecutive meaning another year suspension, a total of 50 hours of community service, and another $300 fine.
Michael Keith Strohl, 36, of Lehighton, was arrested on March 28 along Indian Hill Road, in Franklin Township.
He pleaded to driving under suspension-DUI related, and two counts of disorderly conduct and one of speeding, all summary offenses. A charge of fleeing and eluding was dropped in a plea bargain.
On the suspension count he was sentenced to serve 60 days in jail, a fine of $500, and will receive a one year license suspension.
On the two conduct charges he was fined a total of $600, and on the speeding count $45 and costs.
He will begin the jail term on Aug. 2 at noon and was granted work release privileges.
Steven Ray Whilfford, 22, of Tobyhanna, was arrested on April 14 along the turnpike in East Penn Township, by state police at Pocono. Given a test, the result showed the presence of a controlled substance.
Serfass sentenced him to serve 72 hours to six months in jail, a fine of $1,000, one year license suspension, get a D&A evaluation, and render 25 hours of community service.
He began the jail term immediately.
Each defendant sentenced must also pay court costs, which average close to $1,000, and pay a $50 per month supervision fee while on probation or parole.