New Hanover School Bus Driver Admits To Manslaughter In Pedestrian Death

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NORRISTOWN, PA — Appearing solemn and tearful at times, a New Hanover woman admitted she acted in a reckless or negligent manner while driving a school bus and unintentionally struck and killed an elderly pedestrian in Lower Pottsgrove.

Donna M. Engler, 64, of the 600 block of Schultz Road, a 16-year veteran of driving school buses, pleaded guilty in Montgomery County Court on Wednesday to a misdemeanor charge of involuntary manslaughter and a summary charge of careless driving resulting in an unintentional death in connection with the 7:08 a.m. Sept. 9, 2013, incident at Mervine and North Charlotte streets that claimed the life of pedestrian Shirley Wilhelm, 78, of Pottstown.

“Not a day goes by, or a moment goes by for that fact, that Mrs. Engler doesn’t feel remorse for her actions that day,” defense lawyer Timothy Woodward said on Engler’s behalf after the brief hearing. “She is devastated by the loss of life and she recognizes that this is an unspeakable tragedy that has caused pain and suffering to a number of people.”

Under state law, a person commits involuntary manslaughter if while performing a lawful act in a reckless or grossly negligent manner they cause the death of another person.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140129/new-hanover-school-bus-driver-admits-to-manslaughter-in-pedestrian-death

Enhanced by Zemanta

Judge: Pottstown Merchant Peddled ‘Death’ When He Sold K2

NORRISTOWN — Saying a Pottstown merchant peddled death when he sold synthetic marijuana from his downtown convenience store, a judge sent the man to state prison.

Rafie L. Ali, 35, who previously lived in an apartment above the Achi Store he operated at 315 E. High Street between February and May 2012, was sentenced in Montgomery County Court on Tuesday to seven to 14 years in a state correctional facility.

“He’s no different than a drug dealer, pure and simple,” said Judge Steven T. O’Neill, referring to Ali’s decision to sell the dangerous substance in a community that has waged a battle against drug dealers and addiction. “The nature of what was sold in that store destroys the fabric of a community. You engaged in danger in a community that doesn’t need it, doesn’t need any more drug dealers.”

Ali, who apologized for his conduct before learning his fate, remained solemn as the punishment was imposed.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20131126/judge-pottstown-merchant-peddled-death-when-he-sold-k2

Pottstown Merchant’s Fate For Selling K2 Hinges On High Court Ruling

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NORRISTOWN — The severity of a Pottstown merchant’s punishment for distributing synthetic marijuana from his store will hinge on an interpretation of a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling regarding mandatory sentences.

Rafie L. Ali, 35, who previously lived in an apartment above the Achi Store he operated at 315 E. High Street, saw his sentencing hearing postponed in Montgomery County Court on Thursday so prosecutors and defense lawyers in the case could weigh the ramifications of the high court ruling, handed down a few days after Ali’s June conviction, which affects how prosecutors seek mandatory prison terms for certain crimes.

First Assistant District Attorney Kevin R. Steele and co-prosecutor Nicholas Reifsnyder are seeking mandatory prison terms against Ali, between 10 and 15 years, based on state laws that allow mandatory terms for drug sales carried out in school zones or with a firearm.

“He was a drug dealer masquerading as a businessman and that made him all the more dangerous,” Steele and Reifsnyder argued in a sentencing memorandum. “By keeping a firearm in close proximity to the potentially fatal drugs he was dealing, defendant contributed to the culture of violence that inevitably surrounds drug use and drug dealing.”

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130906/NEWS01/130909683/pottstown-merchant-s-fate-for-selling-k2-hinges-on-high-court-ruling#full_story

Woman Who Bit Pottstown Cop To Be Watched By Judge For Seven Years

NORRISTOWN – A Philadelphia woman will be under the watchful eye of a judge for several years for biting a Pottstown police officer while being arrested on drug and weapons-related charges in the borough.

An apologetic Ciara M. Witcher, 25, of the 6400 block of North 13th Street, was sentenced in Montgomery County Court on Wednesday to three months already served to 23 months in the county jail after she pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated assault of a police officer, firearms not to be carried without a license and possession of a controlled substance in connection with a March 2012 disturbance in the borough.

Judge Gary S. Silow also ordered Witcher to complete five years’ probation after she’s paroled from jail and 24 hours of community service. The sentence, including parole and probation, means Witcher will be under court supervision for about seven years.

“I think a time-served sentence is appropriate, with a lengthy probationary period, to keep you on the straight and narrow,” said Silow, indicating he was impressed by the testimony of Witcher’s parents who testified Witcher is turning her life around for the better.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130904/NEWS01/130909766/woman-who-bit-pottstown-cop-to-be-watched-by-judge-for-seven-years#full_story

Former Pottstown Personal Banker Jailed For Stealing From Elderly Clients

NORRISTOWN — A former personal banker at a Pottstown financial institution is headed to prison after admitting to engaging in a scheme to steal money from six elderly female clients.

Jon Dugan, 30, formerly of the 500 block of Douglass Drive, Douglass (Berks), and most recently of Township Line Road, Royersford, was sentenced in Montgomery County Court on Friday to five-to-23 months in the county jail, to be followed by five years’ probation, after he pleaded guilty to multiple charges of theft by deception in connection with incidents that occurred while he worked for the Wells Fargo Bank branch, 1470 E. High St., between June and August 2011.

Judge Gary S. Silow also ordered Dugan to pay $7,671 in restitution to the bank.

Dugan must report to jail on July 26 to begin serving the sentence.  Dugan is eligible for a jail work-release program during his incarceration.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130719/NEWS01/130719179/former-pottstown-personal-banker-jailed-for-stealing-from-elderly-clients#full_story

‘Vicious’ Dog Attack At Pottstown Residence Apurs Lawsuit Against Dog Owner, Landlord

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NORRISTOWN, PA — A Limerick woman who allegedly was attacked by dogs and a Lower Pottsgrove man who was injured as he came to her rescue outside a Wilson Street residence in Pottstown have sued the borough man who owned the dogs.

Kaitlyn Fadely, 19, of Major Road, Limerick, and Kurt Buchler, 44, of Foxtail Drive, Lower Pottsgrove, filed separate lawsuits in Montgomery County Court against Robert Schrack, of the 600 block of Wilson Street, Pottstown, alleging they were “violently attacked without provocation” by dogs owned by Schrack about 4:11 p.m. March 15.  The suits each seek damages in excess of $50,000.

“At all times…relevant, the defendant knew that the dogs were of a ferocious, vicious and mischievous nature and accustomed to attack and bite humans,” Skippack lawyer Gerald J. Mullaney Jr. alleged in the lawsuit filed on behalf of Buchler and his wife, Michelle.

Also listed as a defendant in each of the lawsuits was Glenn Waldt, of the 2800 block of East High Street, Lower Pottsgrove, who owned the Wilson Street residence and who rented it to Schrack, according to court papers.  A lease agreement was established between Schrack and Waldt in November 2011, court papers alleged.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130514/NEWS01/130519728/-vicious-dog-attack-at-pottstown-residence-spurs-lawsuit-against-dog-owner-landlord#full_story

Carrero Pleads Guilty To Pottstown Murder

NORRISTOWN — A Pottstown man has admitted to strangling his girlfriend to death during a violent argument before hiding her body in the basement of her home and fleeing to Florida in the woman’s car.

Edwin Carrero II, 33, pleaded guilty in Montgomery County Court on Thursday to charges of third-degree murder, theft by unlawful taking and access device fraud in connection with the Feb. 2, 2012, strangulation death of 31-year-old Alicia Schmidt inside Schmidt’s 424 Cherry St. residence, where Carrero periodically resided.

“He strangled a defenseless woman in her bedroom with her children asleep in the house.  It doesn’t get any worse than this.  This is a murder case,” said Assistant District Attorney Wallis Brooks, who leads the district attorney’s domestic violence prosecution unit.

President Judge William J. Furber Jr. deferred sentencing so that court officials can complete a background investigative report about Carrero, who faces a possible maximum prison term of 30½ to 61 years.  Carrero, who also listed an address along Norris Hall Lane in West Norriton, bowed his head and did not respond to a reporter’s questions as sheriff’s deputies escorted him from the courtroom for the return to jail, where he remains pending sentencing.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130228/NEWS01/130229326/carrero-pleads-guilty-to-pottstown-murder-(video)#full_story

 

Pottstown Homeless Man Jailed After He Admits To Borough Arson

MONTGOMERY COUNTY COURTHOUSE — A onetime homeless man is now residing in a jail cell after he admitted to starting a fire inside a vacant Pottstown apartment that resulted in a response from Pottstown fire officials.

Brian Jay Staub, 38, was sentenced in Montgomery County Court to 11 ½-to-23 months in the county jail after he pleaded guilty to a felony charge of arson endangering property in connection with the March fire at an apartment in the 400 block of Manatawny Street.

Judge William R. Carpenter, who accepted a plea agreement in the case, also ordered Staub to complete four years’ probation after he’s paroled from jail.  The judge also ordered Staub to complete any drug or alcohol treatment that might be recommended by probation officials.

Staub, who court records indicate once listed an address in the 300 block of Chestnut Street in Pottstown, also must pay $1,000 restitution to Spring Hill Realty Inc., of Harleysville, which owned the property.

Read more:  http://www.timesherald.com/article/20121217/NEWS03/121219567/pottstown-homeless-man-jailed-after-he-admits-to-borough-arson#full_story