Man sentenced in convenience store robbery
A Lansford man admitted his part in the robbery of a convenience store in the borough on Tuesday in Carbon County Court. He was one of seven defendants to enter a guilty plea before Judge Joseph J. Matika.
John A. Simonson, 19, pleaded guilty to one count of robbery, as a felony three, for an incident on Aug. 28 at the Turkey Hill Market along Patterson St.
Simonson and another man, wearing hoodies, entered the store and demanded money from the clerk, Robert Clifford III. The other man displayed a knife, the police report stated.
The other suspect grabbed a money bag from behind the counter. As the two were leaving Simonson grabbed cartons of cigarettes.
Simonson said they needed money to supply a drug habit. Authorities agreed Simonson did not have a weapon or threatened Clifford.
Matika sentenced Simonson to get three to one day less 24 months in the county prison with 91 days credit for time already served.
He was also ordered to get a drug and alcohol evaluation and follow any recommendation for treatment, supply a DNA sample, not go in the Turkey Hill store during the duration of his sentence, make restitution of $66.80, which is his share of the amount taken, and render 75 hours of community service when released on bail.
Scott Heffelfinger, 26, of Tamaqua, who police allege was the other man in the incident with Simonson, appeared to enter a plea in the case. However, when the knife was mentioned in the recitation of the facts, Heffelfinger disputed it. Matika said he could not accept the plea if Heffelfinger did not accept the facts as read into the record. Matika then said Heffelfinger's case would put on the January trial list.
Kensey Marie Shanfelt, 20, of Lehighton, and formerly of Jim Thorpe, entered guilty pleas in three pending cases, including a count of forgery, as a felony two.
Shanfelt was charged by Nesquehoning police for taking a credit card from her then employer Toni Marie Macaluso at the Lantern Restaurant. She also took checks from the business leading to a second set of charges.
She was also charged by Nesquehoning police with taking jewelry from the home of Jane Adams, where she was hired to clean the home.
In all she entered pleas to one count of forgery and two counts of access device fraud and three counts of theft.
Matika deferred sentencing and ordered the adult probation office to prepare a presentence investigation report.
Other defendants entering pleas included:
Rebecka Lee Foulke, 35, of Allentown, pleaded to count of unauthorized use of an automobile. She was arrested on Jan. 25 by Lansford police for taking the vehicle of Joseph Delpero without his permission. The car was later located but had damages.
Matika placed her on probation for a year and ordered her to make restitution of $1,169.80 to Delpero, render 50 hours of community service, and get a D&A evaluation.
Foulke is current in prison on a detainer filed by Lehigh County authorities for a parole violation.
Brian Daniel Churchill, 37, of Albrightsville, pleaded to one count of unauthorized use of an automobile. He was arrested on May 29 by state police at Fern Ridge for taking the vehicle of Brandon Long without his permission. The vehicle was returned with no reported damages.
He was placed on probation for a year and ordered to render 50 hours of community service.
Leon P. Jenkins, 32, of Allentown, pleaded to one count each of false identification to law enforcement and resisting arrest.
He was arrested on July 17 by Nesquehoning police following a vehicle stop. At the stop he gave a false name, then when confronted by police about the false name, he fled on foot into nearby woods but was later arrested.
Matika placed him on probation for a year on each count, running concurrently, and ordered he render 50 hours of community service.
Jenkins is currently in jail on a detainer filed by Lehigh County authorities.
Marlene L. Fairchild, 68, of Jim Thorpe, pleaded to one count each of resisting arrest and public drunkenness, a summary offense.
She was arrested on Aug. 11 by Nesquehoning police when she was found walking in and out of traffic along East Catawissa St. When police arrived they found her highly intoxicated. When officer tried to take her into custody she struggled with them.
She told Matika she addressed an alcohol problem by going in a facility for six days and regularly attends AA meetings.
On the resisting count Matika placed her on probation for a year and ordered her to render 50 hours of community service.
On the public drunkenness charge she was fined $50.
Deborah Ann Lienhard, 50, of Nesquehoning, pleaded to one count of persistent disorderly conduct. She was arrested by Nesquehoning police for an incident on Aug. 13, 2012, at Oak and Catawissa streets. Police had impounded a vehicle driven by her son and she attempted to enter it and when told by police to stay away. She then caused a disturbance, police said.
Matika placed her on probation for a year and ordered her to render 50 hours of community service.
Each defendant sentenced must also pay court costs, which average about $1,000, and pay a $50 per month supervision fee while on probation or parole.