Man who drove drunk with his children in car enters guilty plea
A Carbon County man pleaded guilty to driving drunk with his two children in his car, while a woman admitted to causing a disturbance in the Lehighton police station.
The two were among eight to enter guilty pleas Monday before Carbon Judge Steven R. Serfass.
Children in car
William A. Kurtz, 38, of Lansford, pleaded to one count each of driving under the influence and endangering the welfare of a child.
Kurtz was stopped by Lehighton police on May 24, 2013, in the 400 block of N. First Street for speeding, going 40 miles-per-hour in a 25 zone. At the stop police found Kurtz to be under the influence after they smelled marijuana in the vehicle. Also in the car were Kurtz's two young children.
He was placed under arrest and taken for a blood test, that revealed the presence of a controlled substance-marijuana, in his system.
On the DUI count Serfass sentenced Kurtz to serve 72 hours to 24 months in the county prison followed by three years of probation. He was also ordered to pay a fine of $1,000, his license was suspended for 18 months, must get a drug and alcohol evaluation and follow any recommendation for treatment, and render a total of 150 hours of community service.
On the endangering charge he was placed on probation for a year, concurrent with the DUI count.
He will begin the jail term at 2 p.m. on March 3.
Elizabeth Tansley, 26, of Tamaqua, and formerly of Lehighton, pleaded guilty to one count each of institutional vandalism, persistent disorderly conduct, and public drunkenness.
She was arrested on Jan. 13 when Lehighton police responded to Alfie's Pizza at 136 S. First St., for an assault incident.
On scene police found Tansley, who was not directly involved in the assault, in a highly intoxicated condition. She was taken to the police station where she caused a disturbance by biting officer Matthew Bender and spitting all over the police office area.
She told Serfass she was sorry for her actions and promised it would never happen again.
On the vandalism count she was placed on probation for 24 months and ordered to render a total of 150 hours of community service. On the conduct charge she was placed on probation for a year, consecutive to the first count. She was fined $300 on the drunkenness count.
Other defendants who entered pleas included:
Brian Louis Amill, 30, of Palmerton, pleaded to one count of theft.
He was arrested by Palmerton police for taking various items from the apartment of Kelly Jane Jordan, at 714 First St.
He told Serfass he was intoxicated when he took the items.
Amill, who has a lengthy prior record, is currently serving a state prison term at the State Correctional Institute at Frackville. He said the term runs until February 2015.
Serfass sentenced him to serve nine to 24 months in a state prison, but the term runs concurrent with his present sentence.
He was also ordered to get a D&A evaluation, and when released on parole, render 100 hours of community service.
William Lasso Jr., 49, of Palmerton, pleaded to one count of DUI. He was arrested on Nov. 1, 2013, by Lehighton police along East Street. A test revealed 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 suspended, and get a D&A evaluation.
He will begin the jail term at 10 a.m. on March 6.
Vincent J. Valentini II, 43, of Summit Hill, pleaded to one count of DUI. He was arrested on Nov. 24, 2012, along Mill Street by Mahoning Township police. Given a test, the result showed the presence of a controlled substance.
In a plea bargain, the commonwealth agreed to drop a second case, and a charge of flight to avoid apprehension, which was tied to the DUI incident.
On the DUI charge Serfass sentenced Valentini to serve 30 days to six months in prison, a fine of $1,000, one-year license suspension, get a D&A evaluation, and render 25 hours of community service.
He was given credit for 28 days spent in an inpatient rehabilitation program. He will begin serving the remaining two days on March 1 at 9 a.m.
Thomas Joseph Hudock, 56, of Albrightsville, pleaded to one count of DUI. He was arrested on Aug. 19, 2011, by state police at Fern Ridge along Route 534 in Penn Forest Township, after being involved in a two-vehicle crash. Given a test, the result was .11BAC.
Serfass sentenced him to serve 48 hours to six months in jail, a fine of $500, one-year license suspension, get a D&A evaluation, and render 25 hours of community service.
He was given credit for one day spent in jail on the charge and will begin serving the remaining day at 9 a.m. on Feb. 28.
Stevi-Lorayn Platzer, 20, of Jim Thorpe, pleaded to one count of DUI. She was arrested on Sept. 20, 2013, along Old State Road in Penn Forest Township by state police at Fern Ridge. Given a test, the result was .22BAC.
A first offense, she 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.
Peter Stravinsky, 40, of Scranton, was placed in the county's Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition probation program for first time offenders on a DUI charge.
He was arrested on July 22, 2013, along Route 248 in Lower Towamensing Township by state police at Lehighton. Given a test, the result showed the presence of a controlled substance.
If Stravinsky completes all conditions of the program his record will be wiped clean. However, if he fails to complete it or is revoked from it, he will face trial on all pending charges.
Stravinsky was placed for a year and ordered to pay $600 for the cost of the program, get a D&A evaluation, and his license was suspended for 60 days.
Each defendant must also pay court costs, which average about $1,000, and pay a $50 per month supervision fee while on probation or parole.