Carbon County court
A New York state resident admitted to fleeing police on Monday in Carbon County court.
He was one of eight defendants in pending criminal cases to enter a guilty plea before Senior Judge Dudley N. Anderson, of Lycoming County.
Edwin Pierre Toussaint, 36, of Brooklyn, admitted leading state police on a high-speed chase along Interstate 80 on April 21, 2016, that began in Kidder Township, where troopers attempted to stop him for a vehicle violation. In addition to the fleeing charge, Toussaint also pleaded to recklessly endangering another person and a summary offense of driving without a license. The fleeing count is rated a felony.
Speeds reached 100 mph during the chase that ended when Toussaint crashed the vehicle he was driving, which he said belonged to his cousin.
Anderson sentenced him to serve two to 18 months in prison on the fleeing and recklessly endangering count, running concurrently. On the summary offense he was fined $200.
Toussaint is currently an inmate in the county prison. He must also supply a DNA sample. He was given credit for 52 days already served in prison on the charges.
Douglas James Ahner, 37, formerly of Jim Thorpe and now an inmate at the state correctional institution at Mahanoy, Schuylkill County, pleaded to one count of institutional vandalism.
He was arrested on June 12, 2018, by Nesquehoning police for destroying a television at the county prison. He said he committed the crime in protest over the amount of food the inmates were given at the prison.
Anderson sentenced him to serve six to 24 months in a state prison concurrent with the term he is now serving. In July 2018 he was sentenced by Judge Steven R. Serfass to serve 24 to 50 months in prison on a theft charge.
Stephen Wayne Gallagher, 35, of Lake Harmony, pleaded to two counts of harassment, as summary offense. In exchange for the plea, two counts of terroristic threats and one of criminal mischief were dropped in a plea bargain with the district attorney’s office.
Gallagher was arrested on Oct. 23, 2018, by Kidder Township police for a domestic incident at his residence involving a family member as the victim. It was not the first time police were called to the home for a domestic incident of similar nature, it was noted. Gallagher admitted to mental health issues.
Anderson imposed a fine of $100 on each count and sentenced Gallagher to serve 90 days in jail on each count, consecutively. However, he suspended the sentence and ordered as a condition of the suspended sentence Gallagher was not to engage in any similar activity and be charged by police. If he does, then he will have to serve the 180 days in prison.
Raymond Arthur Kowalsky, 62, of Lehighton, pleaded to one count of statements under penalties. In exchange for the plea, a charge of materially false written statement was dropped by the DA.
He was arrested for an incident on Oct. 29, 2018, filed by Franklin Township police. While purchasing a firearm at Buck’s Sporting Goods, he failed to knowledge on his application to purchase the firearm that he had prior mental health issues.
Anderson placed him on probation for six months and ordered he render 35 hours of community service.
Tina McGinnis, 32, of Summit Hill, pleaded to one count of persistent disorderly conduct. She was arrested by Summit Hill police on Aug. 7, 2018, when officers responded to a complaint of loud music coming from her residence. It was the second time officers were called.
Anderson imposed a fine of $300.
Michael Joseph Atkinson, 28, of Nesquehoning, pleaded to one count of identity theft. He was charged by Nesquehoning police for the illegal use of a credit card belonging to a female borough resident. He was previously placed in the county’s Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition probation program but was revoked from it for violating conditions.
Anderson placed him on probation for 15 months and ordered restitution of $709.50.
Timothy Foley, 25, of Albrightsville, pleaded to one count of fleeing or attempting to elude police, as a misdemeanor. He was charged for an incident on Sept. 22, 2018, by Mahoning Township police along Mahoning Drive East. He was originally charged with 11 counts.
He was placed on probation for a year and ordered to render 50 hours of community service.
Gary James Hamilton, 47, of Philadelphia, pleaded to one count of false identification to law enforcement. In exchange for the plea, a charge of possession of a controlled substance, heroin, was dropped by the DA.
He was arrested on Feb. 7 by state police at Fern Ridge following a traffic stop along Interstate 80 in East Side Borough. He is currently an inmate in the county prison on the charge.
He was sentenced to time-served (68 days) to one year in jail. He will not be released from custody as there is a detainer on him filed by authorities in Philadelphia.
Each defendant must also pay court costs of about $1,000 and a $50 per month supervision fee while on parole or probation.