2011-04-14 / Local & State

Criminal Cases Heard Tuesday At Call Of The List

Around 30 defendants on hand to enter plea, request trial
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz

Almost 30 individuals charged with a variety of criminal offenses ranging from driving under the influence and drug delivery to vehicular homicide appeared before Fulton County Court of Common Pleas Judge Richard Walsh this week for call of the criminal trial list.

Afforded a final opportunity to accept any agreement that may have been offered by the office of Fulton County district attorney or to request a trial by judge or jury, only eight individuals had the opportunity to have their cases heard by late Tuesday morning.

Matthew John Kelly, of Mc- Connellsburg appeared before Judge Walsh on one count each of driving under the influence, disregarding a single traffic lane, careless driving, accidents damaging an unattended vehicle or property and failure to stop and give information or render aid. Kelly, 35, through his attorney, Fulton County Public Defender Tamela Bard, has requested a trial, which has been set for April 27, beginning at 9 a.m.

Fulton County District Attorney Travis Kendall said witnesses slated to testify on behalf of the commonwealth at this time are Dale Liscomb and Pennsylvania State Police troopers Jeff Remeikas and Brad Huff. No lab user reports will be referred to in the case as Kelly reportedly refused on the scene to testing.

Susan Marie Naugle of Mc- Connellsburg will reappear in court on Tuesday, April 26, at 1:30 p.m. for a pretrial conference on one count each of theft by unlawful taking and access device fraud.

In his client’s defense, attorney Dwight Harvey presented the court with a motion to dismiss charges under Section 110, which bars further prosecution under certain circumstances. Twenty days is needed for the court to provide ample response to the motion.

Harvey said his client is accused of using her mother’s credit card to make purchases during her mother’s incarceration. Susan Naugle maintains the transactions were made to maintain her mother’s residence, said the attorney. Evidence, in the form of a purse containing paperwork, allegedly exists at the home. Prohibited to enter the property, Harvey stated he has been unable to obtain the evidence.

Charged with two counts each of endangering the welfare of children, aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person; six counts of simple assault; and one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, Warfordsburg resident Dale Arnold Newton entered a plea of guilty to two counts of simple assault. With both counts listed as firstdegree misdemeanors, the district attorney’s office requested that Newton be able to participate in boot camp in the event he is sentenced on June 7 to time in a state correctional institution.

Begging the court for mercy, Newton, 25, told Judge Walsh he has a seven-year addiction to drugs and if he was immediately released from prison, he would not have a home, clothing or even a job. Newton added he would prefer to get treatment and be sent to a halfway house.

“I have stolen and scammed my way through life,” said the man, who has spent the majority of his life in Florida where he has prior convictions. “This has been a lifechanging experience for me... .”

The charges stem from alleged incidents between August and October 2010 when Newton served as a caregiver to a 2-year-old boy and a 4-year-old boy. Newton told the judge Tuesday he spanked both children “too hard, too much and more than what was called for under the circumstances.”

Twenty- three- year- old Heather Renee Teeters, of Hagerstown, Md., appeared with defense attorney Fred Lester to enter a guilty plea to one count of criminal trespassing-entering a structure, a third- degree felony. Teeters admitted to the court she and co-defendants Joshua and Crystal Johnson broke into an apartment of a friend in the Crystal Spring area in late May 2010.

Maximum penalty in the case is 10 years in jail and a $5,000 fine. Teeters has no prior record and will be sentenced on May 31.

Paul Edward Warfield, 61, of Mercersburg entered an open guilty plea to a second degree felony count of burglary. Remaining charges of burglary, theft by unlawful taking and criminal trespassing were dismissed. Warfield said he broke into an individual’s garage without permission on October 5, 2010.

A presentence investigation will be conducted by the Fulton County Probation Department, and Warfield will be sentenced on June 28.

McConnellsburg resident Roy Scott Wertman will be heading to trial on Wednesday, June 8, before Court of Common Pleas Judge Angela Rosenberry Krom on two counts of first- degree arson, two counts of recklessly endangering another person and one count of possession of explosive/incendiary materials.

Bringing up “issues” relevant to the case, the district attorney asked if the commonwealth will be able to use a confession previously made by Wertman, 33, to county Chief Probation Officer Dan Miller. Kendall also questioned if the jury will be informed that Wertman had previously changed his plea from not guilty to guilty and then back to not guilty.

The charges stem from an intentional fire at 819 Promise Land Road in the Knobsville area. Allegedly Wertman allegedly poured a flammable substance on the floor and furniture of the trailer occupied by Raymond

Warner and Nicole Keefer. Wertman had set the fire, police allege, at the request of co-defendant Cindy S. Naugle.

Meanwhile, a decision to “nolle prosequi” or not prosecute the case involving Wertman’s codefendant Cindy S. Naugle, also of Mc- Connellsburg, was temporarily vacated. Judge Walsh announced he is requiring the presence of defense attorney Anthony Mc- Beth before the case can be handled properly. Naugle is charged by state police with arson- danger of death or bodily injury in connection with the fire in Knobsville.

Randy Merrill Wible, 31, pleaded guilty to a Tier 1, second offense of driving under the influence of alcohol. He was reportedly stopped by state police troopers near the Route 30 bypass last September after having consumed too much beer, the McConnellsburg man said in court.

The maximum penalty in the case is six months incarceration and a $2,500 fine, but it is likely Wible will serve five days in the Franklin County Prison following by a four-month participation in the SCRAM program. Sentencing has been set for June 7.

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