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Carbon County court

Published May 20. 2019 12:56PM

A Carbon County man pleaded guilty to more criminal charges on Thursday in the count court.

He was one of four defendants in pending criminal cases to enter a guilty plea before Judge Steven R. Serfass.

Lehighton chase

Vincent Valentini II, 49, of Summit Hill, pleaded to one count each of fleeing or attempting to elude police, a felony, and reckless endangering another person for an incident on Oct. 20, 2018, in Lehighton. Police on patrol observed a vehicle blocking part of West Alley. As they approached the vehicle the driver fled, leading them on a chase through several streets of the borough before the driver stopped. The driver was identified as Valentini.

On April 25, Valentini was in the county court and pleaded to other criminal charges. He pleaded to two counts of fleeing or attempting to elude police and one count of criminal conspiracy — theft. Serfass also accepted those pleas.

Sentencing was deferred as Valentini is going to apply for placement in the state’s Intermediate Punishment Program. The program runs for two years and includes about seven months in a state prison followed by a period of time in an intensive inpatient drug rehabilitation program in a state prison and then time in a halfway house.

Valentini will now be transferred to a state correctional institution for evaluation for the state program. If he does not qualify, then he will be brought back to Carbon County and sentenced.

Brothers dispute

Thomas J. O’Rourke, 53, of Albrightsville, pleaded to one count of simple assault by mutual consent.

He was arrested by state police at Fern Ridge following an incident on Nov. 3, 2018, at a residence along Old Stage Road in Penn Forest Township. Police said they responded to the area for a reported assault.

On scene, troopers learned that O’Rourke and his brother had gotten into an argument which turned physical. It was noted that the brother agreed with a plea agreement which rated the charge by mutual consent.

Serfass placed O’Rourke on probation for a year and ordered he attend and successfully complete a anger management course and render 50 hours of community service.

Other pleas

Ryan Matthew Rehrig, 39, of Palmerton, pleaded to one count of theft of services.

He was charged by Palmerton police with obtaining cable service from Blue Ridge Cable Company using his children’s names and then not paying for the services. Serfass said state sentencing guidelines, based on his prior record score, recommends a prison term somewhere between three and 12 months.

Serfass deferred sentencing to a later date.

Robinn Christopher Zurawa, 50, of Jim Thorpe, pleaded to a bad check charge.

He was charged by Jim Thorpe police for an incident on Jan. 27, 2017, in which he issued a check to a borough resident that the bank would not honor.

Serfass placed him on probation for a year and ordered him to render 50 hours of community service.

Each defendant sentenced must also pay court costs of about $1,000 and a $50 per month supervision fee while on probation or parole.

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