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Carbon County court — guilty pleas

Published July 12. 2018 12:53PM

A Jim Thorpe man admitted in Carbon County court this week to stealing from his mother and also his involvement in another theft incident.

He was one of six defendants in pending criminal cases to enter a guilty plea before Judge Steven R. Serfass.

Steals gun

Scott Houser, 34, pleaded guilty to counts of theft and receiving stolen property.

The theft count stems from an incident reported on Aug. 10, 2017, in which he took a Taurus .380-caliber handgun from the residence of his mother. The receiving charge stems from a Jan. 19, 2017, incident in which he took money from the bank account of a borough female without her permission.

Houser admitted to a drug addiction problem.

Serfass sentenced him to time-served (27 days) to 23 months in prison on the theft charge and one year probation on the receiving count with the terms running consecutively.

Houser was also ordered to get both mental health and drug and alcohol evaluations and follow any recommendations for treatment, zero tolerance for drug and alcohol use, make restitution of $40 in the receiving case and render a total of 150 hours of community service.

Other pleas

David James Pituch, 35, of Palmerton, entered guilty pleas in two pending cases.

He pleaded to one count each of simple assault and resisting arrest for an incident on Jan. 26 in Franklin Township. Township police attempted to arrest Pituch, and he struggled with the officers. The police report indicated it took substantial force to take Pituch into custody. During the struggle, the arresting officer had damage to his uniform. A charge of aggravated assault was dropped in a plea agreement with the district attorney’s office.

He also pleaded to one count of driving under the influence. He was arrested on Nov. 16, 2017, by state police at Lehighton along Dairy Road in Lower Towamensing Township. He refused a test.

Sentencing was deferred.

Edward John Flaim, 24, of Barnesville, pleaded to one count each of possession of a prohibited offensive weapon and possession of drug paraphernalia.

He was arrested on April 24, 2017, by Jim Thorpe police following a traffic stop. Brass knuckles and drug paraphernalia were found in the vehicle.

Sentencing was deferred to determine any credit due Flaim for time spent in prison on the charges.

Elijah Holmes Santiago, 22, of Weissport, pleaded to one count of unsworn falsification.

He was charged for an incident on Jan. 11 in Franklin Township. He attempted to purchase a firearm at Buck’s Sporting Goods along Indian Hill Road and made false statements on the application.

Sentencing was deferred.

Wilbur Loui Fountain Jr., 42, of Palmerton, pleaded to one count of harassment as a summary offense.

He was arrested on Nov. 3, 2017, by Palmerton police following a domestic incident. He was originally scheduled to plead to simple assault and harassment, but the commonwealth dropped the assault count at the request of the victim, who was in court with Fountain. She told Serfass that he had taken steps to address an alcohol problem and that was the reason for her request.

Serfass imposed a fine of $300.

Michael W. Jerden, 38, of Lehighton, pleaded to one count each of resisting arrest and the summary offense of public drunkenness.

He was arrested on March 7 by Lehighton police in the 900 block of Coal Street. Police responded to a reported disturbance and found Jerden on scene intoxicated. It took substantial force to take him into custody, police said.

On the resisting charge, Serfass sentenced him to time-served (29 days) to one day less 24 months in prison and ordered he get a drug and alcohol evaluation, zero tolerance for drug or alcohol use and render a total of 100 hours of community service.

On the drunkenness charge he was fined $300.

Each defendant sentenced was also ordered to pay court costs of about $1,000 and a $50 per month supervision fee while on probation or parole

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