2011-01-27 / Police Reports

Drug, Alcohol Cases Flood County Court

By Chanin Rotz-Mountz
STAFF WRITER

The majority of last Tuesday’s criminal cases heard by Fulton County Court of Common Pleas Judge Angela Rosenberry Krom had ties to drugs and alcohol.

Warfordsburg resident Michael Deneen appeared for sentencing on January 18 to two counts each of terroristic threats, disorderly conduct, simple assault, public drunkenness; three counts of harassment; and one count of recklessly endangering another person.

Fulton County District Attorney Travis Kendall stated there were “very concerning facts” in the case that dates back to November 11, 2010, when Deneen was intoxicated and called his son to ask for a ride to Hancock, Md., to pick up additional alcohol. Deneen, who was refused the ride, threatened his son and his girlfriend and was later found walking in the direction of their home carrying a loaded shotgun. At the time of his arrest, he told Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) troopers he was teaching his Jack Russell terrier to hunt raccoons.

“Maybe the PSP prevented a double homicide ... . We’ll never know,” said Kendall.

Public Defender Tamela Bard said her client did not recall the threatening telephone call. She further noted he routinely carries a gun as he resides in a remote area where there are coyotes and bears.

“When he’s not drinking he’s a good person,” Bard said of Deneen, whom she referred to as an avid churchgoer and a self-employed carpenter.

Speaking on his own behalf, Deneen said he feels as if he has spent a lifetime in someone else’s shoes. “I could have been someone else,” he added. Deneen concluded he’s never been able to secure the medication or treatment he’s needed and feels best when he’s in a church setting.

Judge Krom stated she was very alarmed by the nature of the offense, and the court was out of options for Deneen locally. In connection with entering a plea of guilty to one count of terroristic threats, Deneen was ordered to complete between 12 and 36 months in a state correctional institution. Credit was granted for time served since his arrest.

. In the matter of Andrew Lee Little of McConnellsburg, Little was ordered to complete between 9 and 36 months in a state correctional institution for one count of terroristic threats. An additional case involving theft by unlawful taking netted Little an additional 2 to 12 months incarceration. Restitution in the amount of $49.99 to victim Eric Spriggs was also ordered.

Prior to Krom handing down the sentence, District Attorney Kendall reviewed Little’s conduct while in the Franklin County Prison and made specific reference to the young man refusing to stand for head count. During the incident, Little allegedly told guards he wasn’t worried about having a setback and referred to himself as being “the boss” in Fulton County.

“He is simply incapable of following the simple rules of society,” said Kendall. “ ... He’s violent, threatening and has an utter lack of respect.”

The public defender stated Little intends to improve his attitude. “I resent authority figures,” admitted Little, 20. “They’re not really polite about how they do things.”

Krom pointed out that Little seemed “amused” during the court proceedings, and said he has clearly demonstrated there is nothing here for him locally. “You’ve exhausted your opportunities,” concluded Krom.

Nicolas D. Swope, 24, of Warfordsburg appeared in court on one count each of the delivery of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and the use or possession of drug paraphernalia. Kendall stated the charges against are a tandem case with the prior trial of Nathan Skidmore. Swope had been cooperative throughout the court process and even offered “candid” testimony during the previous trial.

“Mr. Swope is not an inheritantly bad person. He has a lifelong problem with drug abuse, and we hope he’s trying to get help,” said the district attorney.

Public defender Bard said Swope recently lost a child during a tragic fire and currently has custody of his remaining daughter. He appears to be taking the issue seriously and is on the right track and of the right mindset, said Bard.

“I’m doing really good with my drug problem ... I want to take care of my daughter,” Swope testified.

Krom stated incarceration would serve no purpose and only allow Swope to backslide. As a result, Swope was sentenced to complete 12 months probation for pleading guilty to possession of a controlled substance.

. Gary P. Haines Sr. of Amissville, Va., will complete 12 months probation for pleading guilty to fraudulently obtaining food stamps or assistance. Haines was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,771 to the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare.

. Matthew Lynn Deller from Fannettsburg entered a plea of not guilty to receiving stolen property and theft by unlawful taking during mandatory arraignment proceedings.

. McConnellsburg resident Cory Allen DeShong will complete 12 months probation in conjunction with the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program. DeShong will also pay a $150 fine to Fulton County and complete 30 hours of community service. Charges against DeShong included possession of a small amount of marijuana, turning movements and required signals and the use or possession of drug paraphernalia.

. On charges of two counts of driving under the influence and one count each of careless driving, disregarding traffic lanes and the purchase of alcoholic beverages by a minor, Richard Leroy Drury, Mercersburg, will also complete 12 months probation through the ARD program. He will pay $75 to both the county and commonwealth and complete 30 hours of community service. His driving privileges were revoked for 90 days.

. Marvin James Fittery of McConnellsburg appeared in court on two counts of driving under the influence and one count each of failure to carry a license and turning movements and required signals. Fittery pleaded guilty to one count of drunk driving.

. Matthew John Kelly pleaded not guilty during arraignment proceedings to one count each of careless driving, disregarding traffic signals, failure to stop and render aid, accidents damaging to unattended vehicle or property and driving under the influence.

. Charged with careless driving, driving at unsafe speeds, obedience to traffic control devices and two counts of driving under the influence, Thomas Edgar Locke was permitted to participate in the ARD program. Locke of Concord, Pa., will accordingly complete 12 months probation and 30 hours of community services and pay $100 to both the county and commonwealth. Locke’s driving privileges were suspended for 60 days.

. Hustontown resident Joseph Thomas McComas will complete 12 months probation through the ARD program as well as 30 hours of community service. Mc- Comas was charged with two counts of driving under the influence and one count each of careless driving, disregarding traffic lanes and driving without a license. His driving privileges were suspended for 30 days.

. William Russell Messerly of Warfordsburg will complete 12 months probation and 30 hours of community service. He will also pay $200 to Fulton County and restitution totalling $120 to victim Harrison Rohm. Messerly was charged with theft by unlawful taking or receiving stolen property.

. The commonwealth was unwilling to pursue a case involving Gregory Allen Seville of McConnellsburg and, as a result, charges of harassment and simple assault were dropped. Seville, Kendall stated, is not responsible for his actions in connection with suffering from a disease known as “Huntingdon’s disease.”

. Justin Lee Thomas of Orbisonia, pled guilty to simple assault, which carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison and $2,500 in fines. Thomas will be sentenced on March 1.

. Lijah Hunter Winegardner of Fort Littleton appeared in court during arraignment and entered a plea of not guilty to one count of bad checks.

. A bench warrant was issued by Krom for Tierney Star Zeger of McConnellsburg. Zeger failed to appear in court for mandatory arraignment on charges of theft by deception, criminal conspiracy theft and receiving stolen property.

. A bench warrant was also issued for Michael Scott McGlaughlin of Mercersburg, who failed to appear in court on two counts of driving under the influence and one count of restrictions on alcoholic beverages, careless driving, the use or possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a controlled substance and disregarding traffic signals.

. A continuance was granted until February 1 for the case involving Tiffany Nicole Swope of Warfordsburg. Swope is charged with failure to notify police, driving at unsafe speeds, disregarding traffic lanes, driving without a license and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

. Joshua Clayton Johnson of Crystal Spring was given a continuance until January 27. Johnson was slated to undergo mandatory arraignment on charges of driving without a license, failure to carry a license, duties at stop signs, driving while operating privileges are suspended, careless driving, the use or possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a small amount of marijuana and driving under the influence. He will likely be arraigned prior to a trial scheduled for an unrelated incident on January 27-28.

. Randy Merrill Wible of McConnellsburg was granted a continuance until January 25 regarding charges of two counts of driving under the influence and one count of careless driving, restrictions on alcoholic beverages and no rear lights.

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