2013-10-31 / Local & State

Drug Delivery Jury Trial Cancelled

Hess enters plea, to be sentenced Nov. 19
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz

Albert Hess Albert Hess NEWS EDITOR

With a jury waiting in the wings Wednesday morning, a Mc- Connellsburg man charged with delivery of a controlled substance and criminal conspiracy was allowed yet another opportunity to enter a plea.

Defense attorney Eric Weisbrod told the Fulton County Court of Common Pleas presided over by Judge Carol L. Van Horn that new evidence came to light only the day prior in the case of 66-yearold Albert “Jake” Hess. As a result of this “change of circumstances,” Weisbrod said the court was allowing Hess to proceed with an entry of a plea.

Hess, currently of 212 Lincoln Way East, entered an open guilty plea to two counts of delivery of a schedule three, controlled substance. Total maximum penalty is 10 years incarceration and $30,000 in fines. Restitution will also be owed to the Pennsylvania State Police for drug buy money.

Hess was reminded by Judge Van Horn the court had “been down this road before” as he previously entered a guilty plea, which would later be withdrawn. He had also been granted several continuances, pushing back the date of his jury trial to October 23.

Van Horn also pointed out Hess would only be able to withdraw these newest guilty pleas through “manifest injustice,” which refers to the outcome of a case that is plainly and obviously unjust such as the acceptance of an involuntary guilty plea.

Hess then admitted to two incidents that happened in October 2011 during which he delivered pain medications to a Pennsylvania State Police confidential informant in exchange for money. The exchanges, affidavits of probable cause indicate, occurred in northern Fulton County at the intersection of Waterfall and North Hess roads and at a location along Route 913.

The affidavits of probable cause in both instances state Hess arrived at the scene in a white 2002 Chevrolet Silverado truck with his wife and co-defendant, Gayle, behind the wheel. The confidential informant was handed a pill bottle each time containing 50 Hydrocodone tablets in exchange for $350.

Van Horn ordered an updated presentence investigation report be completed prior to sentencing that will be held on November 19.

Following the establishment of a sentencing date, the jurors in the case were brought into the courtroom. Having been held in the jury room for 75 minutes, Van Horn thanked the jurors for their appearances and also apologized for the delay. They were dismissed as the case had been resolved.

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