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Jury convicts Carbon man in 10 minutes

Published August 09. 2018 12:53PM

A Carbon County jury panel deliberated for about 10 minutes this week and found a Carbon County man guilty of the only charge filed against him.

The panel found Frederick C. Evans Jr., 41, of Summit Hill, guilty of fleeing or attempting to elude police following a short trial before Judge Joseph J. Matika. The charge is rated a misdemeanor 2.

Trial testimony

Evans was arrested following incidents on Sept. 20, 2017.

Officer Todd Woodward testified he was dispatched about 3:30 a.m. to North Market Street for a complaint of a suicidal man who had a firearm. Woodward arrived on scene and spoke with a woman who made the 911 call. While speaking with her, a Ford F150 truck driven by Evans drove by. Evans was identified by the witness as the man in question.

Woodward said he followed Evans for about six blocks with emergency lights and siren activated but Evans did not stop. Evans drove to his residence at 38 E. Richards St., got out of his truck and ran into his home. He then barricaded himself in the home.

Evans told the jury that Woodward’s vehicle almost rammed the rear of his truck at a stop sign and the officer was driving erratically, which put him in fear, and that was why he fled into his home.

No testimony

No testimony was given concerning the events which occurred after Evans fled into his home. He refused to leave the home, and the state police special emergency response team responded.

At around 8:30 a.m. the team set off a concussion grenade near the front of the garage at the residence. As team members, and later, Evans’ parents, tried unsuccessfully to persuade him to come out so they could help him, two more concussion grenades were set off. At around 11 a.m., police fired tear gas into the garage from at least three different directions.

After about 10 minutes, members of the SERT team wearing gas masks went in and brought Evans out. He was taken by ambulance to an area hospital and was involuntarily admitted to the mental health unit. No charges were filed concerning the incident at Evans’ residence.

Matika ruled before the start of the trial that there would be no testimony concerning that incident because it was not relevant to the fleeing and eluding charge.

Evans also has charges of fleeing or attempting to elude police and terroristic threats pending for an incident on Jan. 25. Evans is scheduled for a pretrial conference with the district attorney on Aug. 16 for those charges.

Assistant District Attorney Brian Gazo prosecuted the case. Evans was represented by attorney Christopher Shipman of Easton.

Matika deferred sentencing to Aug 24 at 9 a.m.

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