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Carbon County court

Published July 25. 2019 01:14PM

A Carbon County man was sentenced to a county prison term on Monday in the county court after pleading to an domestic assault count.

He was one of eight defendants in pending criminal cases to enter a guilty plea before President Judge Roger N. Nanovic II.

Franklin incident

Robert Walter Schafer, 40, of Palmerton, pleaded to one count each of simple assault and unlawful restraint for an incident on Aug. 11, 2018, in Franklin Township.

Township police responded to a residence along Willow Street for a domestic assault report. On scene a woman told officers she had been assaulted by Schafer all night, who wouldn’t let her leave the residence. Police noted the woman had visible injuries.

Schafer told Nanovic, “I do regret everything I’ve done.” He said at the time of the incident he and the victim had a relationship, which is now ended.

On the assault count Nanovic sentenced him to serve three to 18 months in prison and ordered he get a drug and alcohol evaluation and follow any recommendation for treatment and have no contact with the victim. On the restraint charge he was placed on probation for a year, concurrent with the assault charge.

Nanovic also said, under a new state law, since the assault stemmed from a domestic incident, Schafer must forfeit any firearms, ammunition or gun permits he might possess.

He will begin the jail term at 7 p.m. on July 26 and serve it on consecutive two-day weekends. He was given credit for 12 days already served.

Other pleas

Jacqueline Elizabeth Diez, 27, of Oakmont, Butler County, pleaded to one count of possession of a controlled substance. She was arrested on Nov. 6, 2018, at the county prison. She was brought to the prison on other charges, and during the intake possess she was found to have suboxone.

Nanovic sentenced her to serve 45 days to one year in jail, get a drug and alcohol evaluation, continue her outpatient drug rehab program and zero tolerance imposed for drug or alcohol use.

She was given credit for 47 days already served and paroled.

Randi Phillips, 37, of Phillipsburg, New Jersey, pleaded to one count of criminal attempt, theft by deception. She was arrested on March 21 by Franklin Township police when she attempted to pass phony $20 bills at a township business.

Phillips is currently an inmate in the county prison but will be transferred to Northampton County where she is facing a probation violation charge. It is also noted she has a detainer on her from New Jersey.

Nanovic placed her on probation for two years and ordered she get a drug and alcohol evaluation.

Joseph Evanko, 57, of Lehighton, pleaded to one count each of criminal mischief and persistent disorderly conduct. A felony count of criminal trespass was dropped in a plea bargain with the district attorney’s office.

Nanovic placed him on probation for a year on each count, concurrent to each other, and ordered he get both drug and alcohol and mental health evaluations and make restitution to damages to the residence of $773.22.

Jeffrey Scott Levan, 50, of Lehighton, pleaded to one count of disorderly conduct, as a summary offense, with charges of hindering apprehension and obstruction of justice dropped in a plea deal with the DA. The summary offense was added to the original complaint.

Nanovic imposed a fine of $300.

James Huff, 68, of Pen Argyl, pleaded to one count of statement under penalty. Huff attempted to purchase a firearm at the Walmart store in Mahoning Township on Aug. 15, 2018, and answered a question pertaining to any prior criminal conviction incorrectly. He had been convicted of criminal offenses over 40 years ago but answered “no” to the question. Nanovic told Huff that because of those prior convictions he cannot own a firearm.

Nanovic placed him on probation for a year and imposed a fine of $1,000.

James P. Carter, 25, of Bowmansville, Lancaster County, pleaded in two pending cases to one count each of possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was arrested on the controlled substance charge on April 12, 2017, by Lehighton police following a vehicle stop. He was a passenger in the vehicle and found was heroin. The paraphernalia charge was filed for an incident on March 24, 2018, filed by Lansford police for a vehicle stop along Patterson Street. Heroin was also found.

Nanovic deferred sentencing and ordered the adult probation office to prepare a presentence investigation report.

Danielle Hesse, 36, of Lansford, pleaded to one count of driving under the influence of a controlled substance. She was arrested on April 5 by Lansford police following a vehicle stop.

Nanovic sentenced her to serve 72 hours to six months in jail, pay a fine of $1,000, have her license suspended for a year, zero tolerance for drug or alcohol use, and follow any recommendation of her drug and alcohol evaluation.

She will begin the jail term at 6 p.m. on July 25.

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

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