2011-04-14 / Local & State

Court Session Held April 5

By Chanin Rotz-Mountz
STAFF WRITER

Judge Carol L. Van Horn of the 39th Judicial District and the Fulton County Court of Common Pleas presided over a court session at the Fulton County Courthouse on Tuesday, April 5.

 Warfordsburg resident Gary E. Malott appeared in court with defense attorney Dwight Harvey for sentencing on one count of theft by unlawful taking. Malott was ordered to complete 24 months probation and to refrain from contacting co-defendant Daniel Porter. He will also share restitution in the amount of $535.50 with Porter for stealing diesel fuel from the Mellott Co.

Pennsylvania State Police records show that Porter and Malott, 29, repeatedly took fuel from the company located at 254 Pigeon Cove Road to use as heating fuel in their nearby homes. In addition to paying restitution, Malott will also pay $150 to the Fulton County Law Library and a $25- per-month supervision fee.

Judge Van Horn told the southern Fulton County man she would honor the deal that was previously offered to him and not impose a sentence involving incarceration. She added that taking fuel for over one and one-half years due to economic hardship did not constitute stealing. “It wasn’t a smart thing to do,” she concluded.

 Beverly L. Spriggs, of McConnellsburg appeared in court for sentencing on two separate incidents involving possession and delivery of a controlled substance. With defense attorney Royce Morris not in attendance due to attending a bar association function, the court agreed to grant Spriggs, 64, a continuance until May 10.

Judge Van Horn noted she would be unwilling to grant a continuance for the same reason in the future.

 Jonathan Bealand, of Hagerstown, Md,. was sentenced to 12 months probation through the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program for two counts of driving under the influence and one count each of turning movements and required signals, careless driving and no headlights.

The 26-year-old will also pay $75 to the commonwealth, $75 to Fulton County, $134 in lab user fees, $25 to emergency medical services, $50 to the Catastrophic Fund, $100 to the Substance Abuse Fund and a $25-per-month supervision fee. Driving privileges were suspended for 30 days, and he will complete 30 hours of community service.

The charges against Bealand were filed by state police in McConnellsburg, who observed him traveling at a rate of 70 miles per hour on Interstate 70 on December 17, 2010. His blood alcohol content at the time of his arrest was recorded at .110 percent.

 William Stanley Burriss, 18, of Waynesboro appeared in court for mandatory arraignment on charges of possession of a small amount of marijuana and the use or possession of drug paraphernalia. Burriss waived arraignment and entered a plea of not guilty to all charges. He will appear in court on July 12 for call of the list.

 Franklin County resident

Roy Juide Clift appeared for arraignment on three separate incidents involving theft by deception. Clift pleaded guilty to all three third-degree misdemeanors and was sentenced to a total of 18 months probation.

He will pay $8.71 in restitution to Getty Mart in Mc- Connellsburg as well as restitution totalling $34.88 to Sheetz. The restitution is linked to three occasions when the 24-year-old Mercersburg man visited local businesses and cashed in dime wrappers filled with pennies. Additional fines against Clift include $50 to the Fulton County Law Library and a $25-per-month supervision fee.

“We hope to guide him away from a life of crime, which hasn’t been working out for him,” said Fulton County District Attorney Travis Kendall, who made reference to a prior record consisting of assault and burglary.

 Josiah Aaron DeShong, of McConnellsburg appeared for mandatory arraignment on an incident involving two counts of driving under the influence and one count each of firearms not to be carried without a license, possession of a controlled substance, careless driving, driving an unregistered vehicle and carrying a loaded weapon. DeShong, 28, also appeared in court on an unrelated case of criminal attempt- theft, criminal mischief, burglary and criminal trespassing. He entered a not-guilty plea to all charges and will appear in court on July 12 for call of the list.

 McConnellsburg resident John Joseph Downey Jr. pleaded guilty to driving under the influence and operating a vehicle without required financial responsibility in connection with a traffic stop on August 1, 2010, by Pennsylvania State Police. Downey, 53, admitted to the court he had been drinking heavily and in turn operated a motor vehicle. He will be sentenced May 10.

 Seth Alan Hoffman, 22, of Chambersburg waived arraignment and pleaded not guilty to one count each of possession of a small amount of marijuana, the use or possession of drug paraphernalia and turning movements/required signals. Hoffman will reappear in court on July 12 for call of the list.

 David Scot Ritchey of Bedford waived arraignment proceedings held on two counts of driving under the influence, not using low beams, reckless driving, failure to yield to emergency vehicles and failure to wear a seat belt. Ritchey, 31, pleaded not guilty and is scheduled for call of the list on July 12.

 McConnellsburg resident Daniel James Shields II waived arraignment last Tuesday on two counts each of driving under the influence of a controlled substance and driving under the influence of alcohol as well as one count each of possession of small amount of marijuana and the use or possession of drug paraphernalia. The 24-year-old pleaded guilty to possession of a small amount of marijuana and drunk driving and requested to be sentenced immediately by Judge Van Horn.

Shields was ordered to complete between 30 days and six months in the Franklin County Prison followed by 30 days probation. He will undergo drug and alcohol evaluations, submit to random testing and complete the alcohol highway safety school. Shields will also pay $ 182 to Fulton County, $176 for lab testing, $100 to the Catastrophic Fund, $100 to the Substance Abuse Fund, a $25 supervision fee.

Shields, according to District Attorney Kendall, was found sleeping behind the wheel of his vehicle in the Sheetz parking lot on November 20, 2010. Store employees reportedly told state police investigators Shields was acting strange while in the store, got in his vehicle but never left the parking lot. Employees checked on him and placed the vehicle in park before turning it off. His blood alcohol content level was .116 percent.

 Mary Ryan Suley, of Columbia, Md., was entered into the ARD program on charges of possession of a small amount of marijuana and the use or possession of drug paraphernalia. He will complete six months probation and pay $150 to Fulton County, $100 to the Substance Abuse Fund, $113 in lab user fees and a $25 monthly supervision fee. Suley, 27, was also sentenced to 30 hours of community service.

Charges against Suley were filed by state police after a traffic stop along Interstate 70 on June 20, 2010, said the district attorney. Suley was reportedly traveling 77 miles per hour and after being pulled over only cracked his window several inches to pass information to troopers. A subsequent search of the vehicle revealed marijuana and paraphernalia.

 Barton Lee Weikel, formerly of Saxton, waived arraignment on one count each of driving a vehicle at unsafe speeds, reckless driving, abandoning a vehicle on the highway, recklessly endangering another person, turning movements / required signals, duties at stop signs, improper stop, fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, flight to avoid apprehension, the use or possession of drug paraphernalia and careless driving. Weikel pleaded guilty to flight to avoid apprehension and was sentenced to 24 months probation, $75 in restitution to Scott’s Auto Body, $150 to the Fulton County Law Library and a $25 monthly supervision fee.

With a prior record including theft, driving under the influence of drugs, possession of paraphernalia, simple assault, retail theft as well as failures to appear in court, Van Horn told Weikel, 31, he had made poor choices over the last six years of his life. “When are you going to grow up,” asked the judge, who noted the defendant has several children in need of financial support.

“It’s disturbing you have no respect for the police,” she added. “I’m not going to impose additional jail time. You need to be about and taking care of your family. It’s time to grow up.”

 Warfordsburg resident Jordon Lynn Castle entered a plea of guilty to theft by unlawful taking in connection with stealing an all-terrain vehicle and a dirt bike from a southern Fulton County farm in mid- July 2009. Restitution in the matter will be shared with two co-defendants. Sentencing has been set for a later date.

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