Back to earth, Lansford man enters guilty plea
Back to earth after flying high, a Lansford man who was jailed on Tuesday for appearing in Carbon County court while under the influence of controlled substances entered a guilty plea Thursday to the charges he was scheduled to on Tuesday.
William D. Barnes, 36, appeared before Judge Joseph J. Matika with a clear mind after spending two days in the county prison.
On Tuesday, Barnes appeared in Matika's courtroom to plea to three criminal charges. However, it was obvious to court personnel that Barnes was under the influence of something. After Matika was informed of the situation, he ordered the probation office to conduct a urine screen, which tested positive for oxycodone, methamphetamine and other substances.
Matika, after hearing the report from probation officer Kimberly Cooper of the result of the urine screen, told Barnes, "Ben Franklin couldn't fly a kite as high as you are now."
On Thursday, Barnes admitted he didn't remember Matika telling him that or much of anything that occurred Tuesday.
Barnes was apologetic to the court for his actions, stating several times he was sorry. He told Matika he was a drug addict.
Matika went along with a plea bargain and accepted pleas from Barnes for simple trespass, criminal mischief and disorderly conduct.
Barnes was arrested by Lansford police for an incident on Jan. 28 at Marco's Pizza shop, at 10 W. Ridge St., with Sal Laduca the listed victim.
Matika placed Barnes on probation for six months on the conduct charge and imposed fines of $50 each on the other two counts.
Barnes was also ordered to get a drug and alcohol evaluation and follow any recommendation for treatment, zero tolerance imposed for D&A use, render 50 hours of community service, and stay off the property of Marco's Pizza.
Matika also told Barnes if the D&A evaluation required treatment, either inpatient or outpatient, Barnes had to follow through with it or that would be considered a violation of his probation sentence and he could be back in court again, facing jail time.
Aaron Scott Jr., 23, of Lehighton, pleaded guilty Thursday to one count each of criminal trespass (felony three) and criminal attempt-theft, (misdemeanor one).
Scott was charged by Mahoning Township police for an incident on April 29 at the residence of Randy Bollinger, 257 Ashtown Drive. Other charges, including burglary, were dropped in a plea bargain.
Matika deferred sentencing to a later date.