Nine defendants set for trial, change minds and enter pleas
Nine defendants, who were scheduled to go on trial this week in Carbon County court on various criminal charges, changed their minds and entered into plea agreements with the district attorney's office and entered guilty pleas.
The pleas were accepted by Judge Joseph J. Matika from the following:
Michael Thomas Halulko, 25, of Palmerton, pleaded to one count of receiving stolen property. He was arrested by state police at Lehighton for having in his possession an all-terrain vehicle that had been stolen in Towamensing Township.
He was placed on probation for 18 months and ordered to get a drug and alcohol (D&A) evaluation and follow any recommendation for treatment, zero tolerance on D&A use, and render 75 hours of community service.
Michael G. Halvorsen, 33, of Summit Hill, pleaded to one count each of persistent disorderly conduct, and public drunkenness, a summary offense. He was charged by Summit Hill police for an incident on March 22, 2012, in the area of the Switchback Market, E. Amidon Street, where he was causing a disturbance.
He was sentenced to serve two to 12 months in prison, get both D&A and mental health evaluations, zero tolerance on D&A use, render 50 hours of community service, and pay total restitution of $1,201.92 for damages to a police cruiser.
On the summary offense he was fined $100 and costs.
He was given credit for 147 days spent in jail on the charges and paroled.
Adam Eugene Augustine, 21, of Allentown, pleaded to one count of driving under the influence (DUI). He was arrested on Aug. 26. 2012, by state police at Fern Ridge along SR903 in Kidder Township.
He was sentenced to serve 90 days to five years in jail, a fine of $1,500, 18 months license suspension, get a D&A evaluation, zero tolerance on D&A use, and when released on parole render 50 hours of community service.
Matika ruled the sentence run concurrent with a 16-to 36-month state prison term imposed last Tuesday by Judge Steven R. Serfass.
William Roman Morales, 48, of Summit Hill, pleaded to one count of harassment, as a summary offense. He was arrested following a domestic incident on Sept. 12, 2012, in Penn Forest Township with his girlfriend the listed victim. She requested a count of simple assault be dropped.
Matika imposed a fine of $50 and costs.
Kenneth Diaz, 34, of Jim Thorpe, pleaded to one count of disorderly conduct as a summary offense. He was arrested on Sept. 12, 2011, by Mahoning Township police following a domestic dispute involving his wife.
Matika imposed a fine of $25 and costs.
Kevin Christopher Cummings, 27, of Stroudsburg, pleaded to one count each of simple assault and theft. He was arrested on July 3, 2011, by Palmerton police for incident along Edgemont Avenue stemming from a domestic dispute.
On the assault count Matika sentenced him to serve six to 12 months in prison and ordered he render 50 hours of community service when released, get a D&A evaluation, zero tolerance on D&A use, have no contact with the victim.
On the theft charge he was placed on probation for a year, concurrent with the assault count.
The terms run concurrent with a 11 and 1/2- to 23-month prison term he is currently serving in Monroe County.
David Nelson, 32, of Palmerton, pleaded to one count each of DUI and reckless endangerment. He was arrested by state police at Lehighton along SR248 on March 10, 2012. He had two children in the vehicle at the time.
On the DUI count he was sentenced to serve five days to six months in jail, a fine of $300, one year license suspension, get a D&A evaluation, zero tolerance on D&A use, and render 50 hours of community service. He was given credit for one day in jail and will serve the remaining days on weekends beginning March 1 at 6 p.m.
On the reckless endangering charge he was placed on probation for a year, concurrent with the DUI count.
Daryl Behler, 50, of Lehighton, pleaded to one count each of harassment and disorderly conduct, both summaries. He was arrested on Friday, Nov. 30, 2012, in the 100 block of N. First St., by Lehighton police.
He was fined a total of $200 and costs.
Christine S. Hydro, 34, of Weissport, pleaded to one count each of retail theft and possession of a controlled substance. She was arrested on April 28, 2010, by Lehighton police for an incident at the Right Aid store.
On the possession count she was placed on probation for a year and ordered to get a D&A evaluation, zero tolerance on D&A use, and render 50 hours of community service.
On the retail theft charge, a summary, she was fined $100 and costs.
Each defendant must also pay court costs, which average about $1,000, and pay a $50 per month supervision fee if on probation or parole.
Denise Williams, 49, of Palmerton, was placed in the county's Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition (ARD) probation program for first time offenders by Matika.
She was charged by Palmerton police with access device fraud and related offenses for using the credit card of another person at various times from 2008-2010.
She was placed for a year and assessed $650 for the cost of the program, and ordered to render 50 hours of community service, and make restitution of $37,000 by Dec. 31 or be removed from the program and face trial.