2012-05-31 / Correspondents' Notes

Court Session Held May 22

By Chanin Rotz-Mountz

Judge Richard J. Walsh of the 39th Judicial District and the Fulton/Franklin County Court of Common Pleas presided over a court session held at the Fulton County Courthouse on Tuesday, May 22.

 Jonathan D. Musselman appeared in court for sentencing on one count of burglary. Fulton County District Attorney Travis Kendall pointed out three months prior to committing this crime in Fulton County, Musselman was sentenced in neighboring Bedford County for theft. He is facing additional time on those charges.

Public defender Dwight Harvey noted Musselman suffers from bad teeth, reportedly a hereditary condition, and became addicted to the painkillers he was taking to ease his suffering. Musselman, Harvey said, plans on getting his teeth fixed following his release from prison.

Victim Curt Barton told the court that this burglary has caused his parents a lot of pain and mental anguish. Barton added it has cost him in excess of $500 for the hour that Musselman spent inside his barn. Musselman responded there was no excuse for what he did and apologized to the Barton family.

Judge Walsh sentenced Musselman to between 131 days and 23 months in the Franklin County Prison and was granted approximately 4 1/2 months credit for time served to date. He will be paroled upon approval of a home plan. Musselman, who is prohibited to possess, own or sell a firearm will also pay a $200 fine, $250 for DNA testing, a $25-per-month supervision fee and a $150 Central Booking fee.

 Echo Renee Sipes appeared in court to be granted a continuance for sentencing on drug- related charges. Sipes’ defense attorney, Philip Harper, said the continuance was needed in order for the defendant to complete in-patient treatment through Pyramid Healthcare in Duncansville. Sipes was previously granted a continuance for the same purpose, Harper added.

District Attorney Kendall stated the commonwealth did not oppose the continuance. He did ask, however, that sentencing occur as soon as possible following her release from treatment. As a result, she is scheduled to appear in court on July 10.

 Danny Lee Buterbaugh Jr. waived arraignment proceedings held on two counts of driving under the influence and six summary offenses. Buterbaugh entered a not-guilty plea and is next slated to appear in court on July 10 for call of the criminal trial list.

 Andy Lynn Clark waived arraignment proceedings and entered a notguilty plea to simple assault and harassment. Clark was admitted into the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) and will accordingly complete 12 months probation.

 David Allen Smith Jr. waived arraignment and pleaded not guilty to theft by unlawful taking and receiving stolen property. Smith will reappear in court on July 10 for call of the criminal trial list.

 Joshua Rupert Baker failed to appear for a hearing to terminate participation in the ARD program. The hearing was held in spite of Baker’s absence, and it was noted by Kendall that Baker failed to make payments, report to probation, complete alcohol highway safety school and community service. His participation was terminated and the case was relisted for the July 10 call of the criminal trial list.

 Chelsea Sue Barton failed to appear in court last Tuesday for a probation/ parole-violation hearing. A bench warrant was issued for Barton’s arrest.

 Daniel DeGroff appeared voluntarily on a bench warrant dating back to October 19, 2010. DeGroff had failed to appear on that date for a probation/paroleviolation hearing. Having relocated to New Jersey to be with family, DeGroff has subsequently been in contact with the probation office over the last six months and completed the outstanding requirements of alcohol highway safety school and treatment.

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