Carbon County court — guilty pleas
A Schuylkill County man was sentenced to a state prison term on Thursday after pleading guilty in Carbon County court to a retail theft charge.
He was one of six defendants in pending criminal cases to enter a guilty plea before President Judge Roger N. Nanovic II.
John Daniel Butz, 40, of Pottsville, was sentenced to serve six to 24 months in a state correctional institution with the term running concurrent with a one and a half to six year term he is currently serving in the state prison at Rockview, Bellefonte, Centre County. That sentence was imposed in Schuylkill County.
He was arrested on Oct. 1, 2018, by Mahoning Township police at the Walmart store. Video surveillance showed Butz pushing a cart full of Lego sets out the front door without paying for the items. He was arrested later following an investigation. Value of the items was set at $1,197.65.
Butz said he sold the Legos to get money to feed his drug habit.
Nanovic also ordered him to get a drug and alcohol evaluation and follow any recommendations for treatment, supply a DNA sample and make restitution to Walmart for $1,197.65.
Leonard Quay Jones Sr., 44, of Lansford, pleaded guilty in three pending cases to one count of retail theft and three counts of defiant trespass, all involving the Walmart store in Mahoning Township.
He was arrested Aug. 11, 2019, by township police after trying to leave the store with a backpack full of items without paying for them. At the time he had been previously ordered not to be on the Walmart property. He was arrested for the two other defiant trespass charges on July 17 and Aug. 4, 2019, again for being on the property after being told he was not allowed to be there.
Nanovic sentenced him to time-served (20 days) to one year in jail on the retail theft count and one year probation on each of the three trespass charges. The probation periods run concurrent to each other but consecutive to the theft count. He was also ordered to make restitution of $145.85 to Walmart, supply a DNA sample and another order to stay out of the store.
Connie Lynn McCullough, 51, of Andreas, pleaded to one count of retail theft. She was arrested on Dec. 21, 2018, at the Walmart store. She went through the self-checkout area and failed to scan all the items in her cart.
Nanovic placed her on probation for six months and ordered her to supply a DNA sample and make restitution to Walmart for $5.97. Most of the items were recovered.
Kelly Sue Ruch, 51, of Lehighton, pleaded to one count of bad checks.
She was arrested by Lehighton police on Oct. 9, 2019, for issuing a check to her landlord for rent that was returned for insufficient funds. She was given the opportunity to make good on the check, but did not, and was charged.
Nanovic placed her on probation for six months and ordered her to supply a DNA sample and make restitution of $760 to the victim.
Michael Joseph Smith Jr., 28, of Lehighton, pleaded to one count of defiant trespass.
He was arrested on Aug. 12, 2019, by Lehighton police at the Gypsy Hill Gardens apartments. He was previously told he was not allowed on the property but was observed there by police.
Nanovic placed him on probation for a year and ordered him to stay off the property.
Alina Marie Adams, 20, of Kunkletown, pleaded to one count of false reports to law enforcement officers.
He was arrested on Aug. 30, 2019, by Lehighton police at St. Luke’s Hospital, where she was a patient. She reported she had been sexually assault by another patient. However, after making the report, she quickly recanted it and said the incident did not happen.
Nanovic placed her on probation for six months and ordered her to get a mental health evaluation and follow any recommendation for treatment.
Each defendant must also pay court costs of about $1,000 and a $50 per month supervision fee while on parole or probation.