2013-05-09 / Front Page

Hess Withdraws Pleas In Drug Delivery Cases

Defense asks for jury trial
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz

Albert Hess Albert Hess NEWS EDITOR

A motion was granted Tuesday by the Fulton County Court of Common Pleas to allow a Mc- Connellsburg man to withdraw two guilty pleas connected with delivery of a controlled substance.

Defense attorney Eric Weisbrod presented arguments to Judge Carol L. Van Horn regarding two criminal cases involving Albert “Jake” Hess of 111 Woodside Drive, Apt. A-11. Weisbrod said his client experienced difficulty in advocating his guilt during entry of a plea several months ago.

He further noted Hess has always maintained he didn’t violate any criminal statutes through his actions and therefore was not “legally responsible.”

Fulton County District Attorney Travis Kendall addressed issues such as whether one of the alleged sales of prescription pills occurred in northern Fulton County or just over the line in neighboring Huntingdon County. That particular question of venue should have been addressed early on at Hess’s preliminary hearing, Kendall said.

Kendall added Hess needed to be judged by the statements he has given to others, including those given to an officer with the Probation Department for the purpose of preparing a presentence investigation report.

Judge Van Horn stated she would grant Hess’s motion to withdraw his guilty pleas based on the fact he continues to maintain his innocence. Hess will next appear in court on these particular criminal cases for a pretrial conference on July 9.

Charges against Hess stem from the alleged controlled buy of Hydrocodone tablets at pulls-off along Route 913 and North Hess Road in northern Fulton County during October 2011. Hess’s wife, Gayle L. Hess, drove the couple to the locations.

Sixty-five-year-old Gayle Hess is currently serving a 36-month sentence through the intermediate punishment program for her involvement in the sales. The sentence began on March 5 with two months incarceration in the Franklin County Jail and is to be followed by six months of electronic monitoring.

Hess was arrested by Pennsylvania State Police in a third drugrelated case after he allegedly sold prescriptions pills to a state police confidential informant on the afternoon of March 22 at his Cardinal Glenn apartment. Ten Hydrocodone pills were exchanged for $60 in the transaction, police said in charging documents. He remains incarcerated in the Franklin County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bail.

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