HOMER CITY DISTRICT COURT DOCKET
August 28, 2013 11:00 AM

Numerous defendants have been named in criminal charges filed before Magisterial District Judge Susanne Steffee, of Homer City.

Criminal complaints and affidavits of probable cause are not evidence of guilt in a criminal case. Defendants are entitled to legal representation and have the right to question the witnesses and evidence presented against them during preliminary hearings in the district court and at trials in the county court of common pleas.

Charged were:

• Steven Robert Marsh, 25, of Shelocta, charged July 3 by state police with five counts of possession of a controlled or counterfeit substance, possession of a small amount of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia at 2:15 p.m. March 26 at 77 Pine Tree Drive in Armstrong Township. The case is still active.

• Jordan John Willis, 20, of New Britain, Bucks County, charged July 5 by Indiana Borough police with criminal trespass, underage drinking and disorderly conduct at 2:30 a.m. July 5 at 835 Grant St., Indiana. The charges were waived for court.

• Michael W. Hess, 35, of Pittsburgh, charged July 3 by Blairsville police with driving under the influence and public drunkenness at 4:54 p.m. July 3 at 5 E. Market St., Blairsville. Hess’ blood alcohol content was not provided in court papers. The case is still active.

• Susan Beth Markel, 40, of Route 286 West, White Township, charged July 10 by state police with DUI, illegally operating a motor vehicle not equipped with ignition interlock and four summary violations at 2:38 a.m. June 9 along Route 286 in Center Township. Markel had a BAC of 0.186 percent, court documents show. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Monday.

• Charles Thane Hegland, 24, of Route 286 West, White Township, charged by state police July 10 with DUI and three summary traffic offenses at 2:20 a.m. June 7 along Greenville Road in Center Township. Hegland had a BAC of 0.171 percent, court records show. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Monday.

• Devante Andrews, 19, of Lincoln Park, Mich., charged by state police July 17 with possession of a controlled or counterfeit substance at 2 p.m. July 3 at Oakland Rooney Hall, 506 S. 13th St., in White Township. The charge was changed to possession of a small amount of marijuana, to which Andrews pleaded guilty.

• Henry William Howell, 48, of Creekside, charged July 17 by state police with DUI and two summary traffic violations related to a vehicle accident June 21 on Lucerne Road in Center Township. A toxicology report revealed Howell had alprazolam, benzoylecgonine and hydrocodone in his system, according to court documents. The case is still active.

• Tracey Lynn Welch, 43, of Thundercloud Lane, Indiana, charged July 17 by state police with DUI and four summary traffic infractions at 3 a.m. June 16 along Indian Springs Road in White Township. She had a BAC of 0.181, court papers show. The charges were waived for court.

• Mary Lee Gibson, 48, of Old Glory Road, White Township, charged by state police July 19 with DUI, resisting arrest, accidents involving damage to attended vehicle or property and five summary offenses at 1 p.m. July 17 at Regency Mall in White Township. Gibson refused to finish a breathalyzer, according to court records. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Monday.

• Robert Alexander Pozik Jr., 25, of Homer City, charged July 19 by state police with illegally operating a motor vehicle not equipped with ignition interlock and three summary violations at 5:21 p.m. June 29 along Route 119 in Center Township. The charge of illegally operating a motor vehicle not equipped with ignition interlock was withdrawn. The summary charges of failure to carry a license, failure to notify a change in address and exceeding the speed limit were moved to traffic court, where Pozik pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay $212 in fines, online court records show.

• Corey Cliff Murdock, 19, of Washington Street, Indiana, charged July 23 by state police with retail theft and failure to stop at a red signal at 5:40 p.m. July 3 at Sheetz, 2260 Route 119, in Center Township. The retail theft charge was moved to non-traffic court. The remaining charge was withdrawn.

• Joshua James Jones, 18; Brandon Avery Painter, 19; and Nickolas Jeffery Sisko, 18, all of Homer City, charged July 23 by state police with possession of a small amount of marijuana; possession of drug paraphernalia; and purchase, consumption, possession or transportation of alcohol at 10:53 p.m. May 24 along Route 119 in Center Township.

Jones also was charged with DUI and four summary traffic violations. Jones’ BAC was not provided in court papers, but lab results showed a positive result for THC, the active component of marijuana. Jones’ charges were waived for court.

The charges of possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia were withdrawn for Painter and Sisko, and the purchase, consumption, possession or transportation of alcohol charge was moved to non-traffic court, where they each pleaded guilty and were fined $450.50, online court records show.

• Samuel McBride Smeltzer, 21, of Shelocta, charged by state police July 23 with DUI and three summary traffic offenses at 3:20 a.m. June 22 along Blakely Road in Armstrong Township in relation to a vehicle accident. Smeltzer’s BAC was 0.185 percent, court documents show. The case is still active.

• Robert Leroy Blake, 31, of Green Valley Drive, White Township, charged by state police July 23 with retail theft at 2:30 a.m. July 17 at Walmart, 3100 Oakland Ave., White Township. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for Sept. 4.

• Jay Ellsworth Pierce Jr., 47, of Cunningham Road, Armstrong Township, charged July 23 by state police with DUI and four summary violations on July 21 along Route 286 in White Township. Pierce had a BAC of 0.258 percent, court documents show. The charges were waived for court.

• Michael Wayne Bignar Jr., 31, of Strongstown, charged by state police July 24 with making a materially false written statement and unsworn falsification to authorities (forged or altered document), regarding an attempted purchase of a firearm on April 20 at Walmart in White Township. According to a police complaint, Bignar, who is not permitted to own firearms due to a mental health commitment, attempted to purchase a firearm at the store by answering no to questions on an ATF form asking if he was a fugitive from justice and if he ever has been deemed mentally defective. Bignar is a fugitive from Massachusetts for larceny, and was involuntarily mentally committed under a warrant, according to police. The charges were waived for court.

• Eric Allen Hartzell, 43, of Rural Valley, charged by state police July 29 with DUI and three summary traffic infractions at 11:45 p.m. June 22 along Route 403. Hartzell’s BAC was 0.182 percent, court papers show. The case is still active.

• Courtney Lyn Wolf, 28, of Lucernemines, charged Aug. 2 by the Indiana County Sheriff’s Office with hindering apprehension or prosecution and false reports to law enforcement authorities between 2 and 3:30 p.m. Aug. 1 at 231 12th St. in Lucernemines. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept. 23.

• Ronald Lee Mortimer, 55, address unknown, charged Aug. 2 by the Indiana County Sheriff’s Office with defrauding secured creditors and obstructing the administration of law or other governmental function. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept. 9.

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