2011-04-07 / Local & State

Judge Meyers Presides Over Court

By Chanin Rotz-Mountz

Judge Shawn D. Meyers of the 39th Judicial District of the Fulton County Court of Common Pleas presided over a court session at the Fulton County Courthouse on Tuesday, March 29.

 Shane William Meck of McConnellsburg appeared for sentencing in connection with a guilty plea to one count of simple assault. Meck, 21, was ordered to complete four months in the SCRAM program as well as 30 days under house arrest and electronic monitoring. The program will be run in conjunction with an overall sentence of 18 months probation and 30 hours of community service. He will also pay a $300 fine and restitution totalling $75 to the Mc- Connellsburg American Legion.

The assault charge stems from an incident on November 20, 2010, when Meck was involved in a fight with another man. Meck reportedly struck the man in the head with his hand and a glass beer bottle. When told to leave the legion, Meck punched a glass door shattering it.

 Warfordsburg resident Daniel Spencer Porter will complete 36 months probation for one count of theft by unlawful taking. Porter will also pay a fine totalling $150 and $630 in restitution to The Mellott Co. for stealing diesel fuel from a tank located at 254 Pigeon Cove Road.

Pennsylvania State Police in McConnellsburg were alerted to the theft and discovered drag marks at the scene that led to two trailers on nearby Quarry Hill Road. Spill marks were allegedly found on heating fuel tanks at the homes of Porter and codefendant Gary Mallott. Porter told investigators he went to the company an estimated eight times to take the diesel fuel for use in his home.

 Walter Andrew Rasp of McConnellsburg appeared in court last Tuesday to withdraw his prior guilty plea to driving under the influence (third offense). Rasp then pleaded not guilty to driving under the influence as well as additional charges of careless driving and disregarding a single lane of traffic. He will reappear in court for the April 25 trial term.

The charges against Rasp, 34, were filed by state police after they were alerted by a passing motorist of a vehicle driven off the side of the road. Troopers responded to a section of Lincoln Way East between the borough and Route 30 on March 7, 2010, and allegedly found Rasp under the influence of alcohol. An affidavit of probable cause reveals the Mc- Connellsburg man was attempting to drive home when he missed the turnoff for Route 16. He added he had consumed a “couple” drinks.

 Richard Steward Jr., of Baltimore, Md., was one of three co-defendants to appear before Judge Meyers on March 29 regarding an incident where $ 5,461.41 in fraudulent company checks were cashed at banks in Needmore and McConnellsburg. Around $5,000 was recovered by state police during the investigation and will be returned to the proper financial institutions.

Steward’s defense attorney Fred Lester pointed out to the court his client had committed more serious crimes in his youth, but during the last 13 years he has had less involvement with the police. Due to the prior record, he was only able to obtain sporadic employment, said Lester, who requested Steward to county time to be able to participate in a work release program.

Meyers sentenced Steward to complete between 12 and 48 months in a state correctional institution for one count of conspiracy to commit theft by deception. He will pay restitution as well as a $300 fine, $250 for DNA testing and a $25-per-month supervision fee.

 Co- defendant in the case, Aubrey Heckstall, also of Baltimore, Md., appeared with defense attorney Dwight Harvey to enter a guilty plea to one count of conspiracy to commit theft by deception. Heckstall admitted to Judge Meyers that he drove to Fulton County on September 3, 2010, to cash the fraudulent checks at local banks. The maximum penalty in the case is a seven-year prison sentence and $15,000 in fines. He will be sentenced on May 17 following the completion of a presentence investigation by the Fulton County Probation Department.

 Virginia Lynn Thaniel of Ocean View, Del., also entered an open guilty plea to one count of conspiracy to commit theft by deception. Thaniel, 40, has been held in the Franklin County Prison since her arrest last fall. Fulton County Public Defender Tamela Bard noted to the court her client was willing to waive a presentence investigation and be sentenced immediately. Thaniel was or- dered to pay a $300 fine and complete 24 months probation with time served.

 Nadine Taylor Deardorff, Chambersburg, waived arraignment proceedings held on two counts of driving under the influence and one count each of failure to wear a seat belt, restrictions on alcoholic beverages, careless driving and disregarding a single lane of traffic. Deardorff, 49, pleaded not guilty, and will reappear in court for the July 25 trial term.

 Altoona resident Raymond Edward Guenot appeared in court for arraignment on charges of possession of a small amount of marijuana, the use or possession of drug paraphernalia, operating a vehicle without required financial responsibility and driving without a license. The 43-year-old Blair County man pleaded guilty to possession of a small amount of marijuana and operating a vehicle without required financial responsibility. He was sentenced to 30 days probation and $450 in fines and a $113 lab user fee.

 Dylan Michael Sosebee, of Baltimore, Md., appeared in court on three separate cases involving retail theft and criminal solicitation. Sosebee,27, entered a plea of guilty to three counts of retail theft and will complete a total of 18 months probation. He will pay approximately $600 in fines, restitution and a $25 monthly supervision fee.

 A bench warrant was issued for the arrest of Everett resident Dennis Wayne Hockenberry, who failed to appear in court for a probation/ parole-violation hearing.

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