2023 Nanticoke PD News
County coroner rules Nanticoke woman’s death a homicide
The Luzerne County Coroner’s Office has determined that the death of a woman found in a West Church Street residence in Nanticoke on Saturday was a homicide.
Lastarr Williams, 27, died from multiple traumatic injuries due to physical assault, according to a release from Luzerne County Coroner Jill Matthews issued on Sunday afternoon.
Investigators from Nanticoke, Newport Township and the Pennsylvania State Police responded to the area of 203 W. Church St. on Saturday after it was reported that a deceased female was at the location.
Williams was pronounced dead at the scene on Saturday. An autopsy was performed by Dr. Gary Ross, who came to the conclusion that Williams’ death was to be ruled a homicide.
There was no word Sunday as to whether or not anyone had been taken into custody regarding this incident. The coroner’s report notes that any further information will be released from the Nanticoke City Police Department, the Pennsylvania State Police or the Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office.
Nanticoke man charged in straw gun purchases
James Halpin – Citizens Voice
A Nanticoke man was charged Wednesday with making straw purchases of five firearms, including two guns for a 19-year-old friend who was later killed in an accidental shooting in Wilkes-Barre.
Kahseem Abdul Crook, 24, of 434 S. Market St., is facing felony charges alleging he lied about who was purchasing the firearms as well as about his own marijuana use.
According to the complaint, police began investigating Crook after he attempted to buy a Glock G26 9mm pistol at Bear's Gun Room on May 20, 2021. On the purchase paperwork, Crook indicated he was the actual buyer of the weapon and that he is not a user of illegal drugs.
However, a background check revealed Crook had a pending case in Lackawanna County for driving under the influence of marijuana and the purchase was denied, according Luzerne County detectives.
Investigators then learned Crook had purchased five firearms between June 12, 2020, and Aug. 20, 2020 — a Ruger .380-caliber pistol, a .45-caliber Glock pistol, a Taurus 9mm pistol, a 9mm Smith & Wesson pistol and a Glock .45-caliber pistol, police said.
During questioning, Crook admitted being a habitual marijuana user, saying he is trying to get a medical marijuana card, and also acknowledged buying the pistols for other people, according to police.
The actual buyers included a friend who was killed in an accidental shooting on Lloyd's Lane in Wilkes-Barre, and police say Crook reported he was unsure whether the gun he purchased was involved in that shooting.
Court documents do not identify the friend by name, but 19-year-old Diavian Mikel Donyae Tooley was killed in an accidental shooting while dancing and recording a rap video during a birthday party at 72 Lloyds Lane, Wilkes-Barre, the night of March 27, 2021.
Tooley's cousin, Ziaire W. Mouzone, 24, was previously sentenced to five years in the Intermediate Punishment Program for an involuntary manslaughter conviction in that case after admitting to racking the slide without knowing whether the weapon was loaded.
According to court documents, Crook also bought guns for two other people — a Crips street gang member identified in court documents only as "Pooka," and 29-year-old Shamal Grandoit, a convicted felon who was later caught with two of the weapons in Dutchess County, New York.
Crook claimed he had accidentally left the two guns in Grandoit's car prior to his arrest, but admitted receiving several hundred dollars in payments from Tooley and "Pooka" for their purchases, according to the complaint.
Police charged Crook with six felony counts of lying on a firearm purchase form and six misdemeanor counts of unsworn falsification.
Magisterial District Judge Donald L. Whittaker arraigned Crook on the charges Wednesday morning and set bail at $10,000.
Crook was being held at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility with a preliminary hearing scheduled for May 10.
Nanticoke man charged with raping girl in Conyngham Twp.
James Halpin – Citizens Voice
A Nanticoke man is charged with raping a girl in Conyngham Twp.
Joseph Paul Banesh, 27, of 128 W. Church St., is accused of raping the girl on two occasions last week.
According to the charges, the first sexual assault took place Wednesday at a home on Cemetery Road, Conyngham Twp., when Banesh threw the girl onto a couch and tore her clothes off.
Banesh also took nude photos of the victim, and tried to smother her with a pillow, troopers said.
The charges allege Banesh also raped the girl on Thursday night.
During questioning, Banesh told police the sexual encounters he had with the girl were consensual “most of the time.” He claimed to not remember the alleged sexual assaults, saying he was blacked out at the time.
Troopers charged Banesh with statutory sexual assault, sexual assault, rape, simple assault and strangulation.
Magisterial District Judge James M. Dixon arraigned Banesh on the charges Saturday morning and denied bail, deeming him a danger to society.
Banesh was being held at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility with a preliminary hearing scheduled for May 2.
Suspect in Nanticoke fatal shooting waives hearing, sending criminal homicide charge to county court
WILKES-BARRE — A Plymouth man accused with fatally shooting another man over a woman’s romance waived his right to a preliminary hearing before District Judge Donald Whittaker on Friday.
James Scott Miller, 32, of Smith Row, will face an open count of criminal homicide in Luzerne County Court.
State police at Wilkes-Barre and county detectives allege Miller fatally shot Brian Edwards, 37, of Nanticoke, on Jifkin Street, Nanticoke, on Feb. 25.
Investigators in court records say Miller and Edwards were engaged in a feud over the same woman, who was Miller’s girlfriend.
Edwards sustained gunshot wounds while he was inside his Ford 250 pickup truck.
Investigators say they recovered six .40-caliber shell casings on Jifkin Street and two spent .40 rounds, one from the driver’s seat of the truck and another during Edwards’ autopsy.
Witnesses reported hearing five to seven shots and a man, believed to be Miller, having trouble starting a motorcycle before he was able to get it to start and flee the area.
Investigators say they recovered surveillance footage of Miller fleeing on the motorcycle after Edwards was shot, court records say.
Miller was at another woman’s residence where he placed a backpack that allegedly contained a holster for a .40-caliber handgun, his wallet and a box of .40-caliber full metal jacket ammunition containing 29 rounds with 21 rounds missing.
Miller was outside to retrieve a tool from a vehicle as Edwards drove by, court records say.
A person known to the two men told investigators, according to court records, Miller and Edwards did not get along and had a long standing feud over Miller’s girlfriend, also suggesting Edwards was in a relationship with the same woman.
Edwards’ girlfriend told investigators Edwards and Miller were at one time best friends., and discovered messages on Edwards’ cellular phone between Edwards and Miller’s girlfriend, and messages between Edwards and Miller arguing over the same woman, court records say.
About three weeks before he was killed, Edwards allegedly told his sister if anything happened to him, “Jimmy did it.”
Miller waived the hearing through his attorney, Frank T. McCabe II. He remains jailed at the county correctional facility without bail.
Deputy District Attorney Daniel E. Zola and Assistant District Attorney Anthony Cardone are prosecuting.
U.S. marshals capture 2 fugitives in Nanticoke
Bob Kalinowski – Staff Writer
NANTICOKE — U.S. marshals and a contingent of local law enforcement arrested two wanted men Tuesday following tense moments on the 300 block of East Green Street.
The men were taken into custody at gunpoint around noon.
Police on scene said one man was wanted by Luzerne County and another was wanted by state parole officials.
At least one of the men had led police on pursuits recently but managed to escape until Tuesday.
Hanover Twp. police identified one of the suspects as 24-year-old Brandon Mayewski, who was wanted on drug possession charges. According to police, Mayewski was found in possession of fentanyl and drug paraphernalia in Hanover Twp. on Jan. 6.
Magisterial District Judge Joseph A. Halesey arraigned Mayewski on the charges Tuesday afternoon and set bail at $25,000.
Mayewski was being held at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility with a preliminary hearing scheduled for April 19. Police say additional charges were pending against Mayewski “for his involvement in other crimes” still under investigation.
The other person caught during the raid was not immediately identified.
Assisting U.S. Marshals on scene were police from Nanticoke, Newport Twp., Hanover Twp. and Wilkes-Barre.
The 300 block of East Green Street was closed for more than an hour during the police operation.
Felony assault charges withdrawn against Nanticoke man
WILKES-BARRE — A Nanticoke man accused of aiming a handgun at a Nanticoke police officer and a child caseworker with Luzerne County Children & Youth Services and placing a handgun in the mouth of a woman pled guilty to misdemeanor charges Monday.
Cory Ma Gonzalez Crudop, 40, of State Street, stood accused of hiding in the basement of a residence at 64 Hill St., as three Nanticoke police officers assisted two caseworkers from Children & Youth Services inspecting the home on July 14, according to court records.
When an officer opened a door, Crudop was accused of aiming a firearm at the officer before fleeing the house where he aimed the firearm at a caseworker, according to court records.
The incident prompted a massive police search of the Lower Broadway area of Nanticoke that ended in Crudop’s apprehension at his residence.
Child caseworkers were at the house two days after Crudop on July 12 placed the barrel of a handgun in the mouth of a woman during a domestic dispute and threw a car battery through the windshield of a vehicle that a child occupied, court records say.
Crudop was scheduled for trial this week.
Instead, prosecutors amended the felony grading of two counts of aggravated assault to misdemeanor simple assault in a negotiated plea agreement with Crudop and his attorney, Frank McCabe, involving the police officer and child caseworker.
Crudop pled guilty to four total counts of simple assault and a single count of terroristic threats, all misdemeanors, before President Judge Michael T. Vough.
A felony count of aggravated assault involving the placing of a gun in the woman’s mouth was withdrawn.
Crudop is scheduled to be sentenced June 8. He remains free on $10,000 unsecured bail.
Nanticoke man pleads guilty to federal fentanyl charge
James Halpin – Citizens Voice
A Nanticoke man has pleaded guilty to dealing fentanyl, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Dario George, 32, pleaded guilty Thursday to a charge of possession with intent to distribute more than 40 grams of fentanyl, prosecutors said.
George admitted distributing between 280 grams and 400 grams of fentanyl in the Luzerne County area in 2021 and 2022, prosecutors said.
When authorities searched George’s home on May 19, 2022, they found roughly 30,000 bags of fentanyl along with $8,098 in cash, cocaine and heroin, prosecutors said.
George faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum sentence of 40 years when he is sentenced at a later date.
Nanticoke man charged with harassing former supervisor
HANOVER TWP. — A former truck driver at an international shipping company was charged with stalking a supervisor.
Frank J. Marcinkowski, 57, of Enterprise Street, made repeated unwanted phone calls to his former supervisor, a woman, and showed up at the facility on New Commerce Boulevard in Hanover Industrial Estates despite being told to stay away, according to court records.
Marcinkowski surrendered on charges of stalking and harassment filed by township police. He was arraigned by District Judge Rick Cronauer in Wilkes-Barre on Saturday and released on $5,000 unsecured bail.
According to the criminal complaint:
A woman reported to police last month about ongoing harassment from Marcinkowski, a former truck driver at DHL. The woman was Marcinkowski’s supervisor.
She claimed Marcinkowski was relieved of his duties in early 2022 after he failed to return to work after a leave of absence. She continued to have contact with Marcinkowski because she was concerned for his health but after several months, she decided to cease having further contact with him.
She told police the relationship was strictly professional.
Earlier this year, Marcinkowski began calling the woman at her place of employment every morning at 7:30 a.m. and again at 8 a.m. She repeatedly told Marcinkowski she no longer wanted him to contact her.
Marcinkowski ignored the woman’s wishes and continued to call and text her, the complaint says.
When the woman ignored his calls, Marcinkowski allegedly called the security desk and identified himself using another name asking to speak with the woman.
Police in the complaint say Marcinkowski called other employees and began showing up at the facility.
During one visit, Marcinkowski wore a DHL uniform and was granted access onto the property driving his vehicle near the door of the woman’s office, according to the complaint.
Marcinkowski left when the woman told him she was calling security.
The woman reported Marcinkowski called the facility’s general manager asking to speak with the woman, and left her a voice mail from a blocked number.
The facility’s legal team sent Marcinkowski a certified letter ordering him to cease contact with the woman and other employees.
A day before the woman reported the alleged harassment, she encountered Marcinkowski outside the facility waiting in his vehicle as she was leaving at the end of her shift. She told police she feared Marcinkowski was going to follow her home, the complaint says.
‘Armed and dangerous’ homicide suspect sought
Investigators say they are searching for an armed and dangerous suspect in connection with last weekend’s fatal shooting in Nanticoke.
Pennsylvania State Police identified the wanted man as James Scott Miller, 32, of Plymouth, according to a release issued Thursday announcing that a warrant has been issued for Miller’s arrest.
Brian Edwards, 37, died from a gunshot wound after being shot in the area of Jifkin Street about 3:45 p.m. on Saturday.
Edwards was transported to Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center, Plains Township, where he died.
An autopsy by forensic pathologist Dr. Gary Ross revealed Edwards died from a gunshot wound. Luzerne County Coroner Jill Matthews ruled Edwards’ shooting death a homicide.
State police reiterated Thursday that the shooting is believed to be an isolated incident. Assisting in the investigation are the Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office, Luzerne County Detectives, and Nanticoke City Police Department.
Anyone with information pertaining to Miller’s whereabouts or the incident is asked to contact PSP Wilkes-Barre at 570-821-4110.
Suspect in Nanticoke fatal shooting surrenders
NANTICOKE — In the weeks before Brian Edwards was fatally shot, he told his sister if anything happened to him, “Jimmy did it,” according to court records.
Edwards, 37, of Nanticoke, was gunned down allegedly by James Scott Miller, 32, who surrendered Friday on an arrest warrant charging him with an open count of criminal homicide.
Miller, of Smith Row, Plymouth, was in a feud with Edwards over the same woman, court records say.
The fatal shooting of Edwards happened near a woman’s residence on Jifkin Street in Nanticoke where Miller was visiting on Feb. 25.
Investigators with the state police at Wilkes-Barre and Luzerne County district attorney’s office say they recovered surveillance footage of Miller fleeing the scene on a motorcycle after Edwards was shot inside his Ford 250 pickup truck, court records say.
Miller turned himself in at the state police, Wilkes-Barre, barracks and was taken to District Judge Donald Whittaker in Nanticoke to be arraigned. He was jailed without bail at the county correctional facility.
Investigators say they recovered six .40-caliber shell casings on Jifkin Street and two spent .40 rounds, one from the driver’s seat of the Ford pickup and another during Edwards’ autopsy.
According to the criminal complaint:
Miller was at a friend’s residence on Jifkin Street and went outside to a vehicle search for a tool. Minutes after walking outside, the friend heard gunshots.
Witnesses in the area told investigators they heard five to seven shots and a man having trouble starting a motorcycle before he was able to get it to start and sped away.
Investigators found Miller’s backpack inside the friend’s residence that held a holster for a .40 caliber handgun, Miller’s wallet and birth certificate and a box of .40 caliber full metal jacket ammunition containing 29 rounds with 21 rounds missing.
The friend told investigators, court records say, Miller and Edwards did not get along and had a long standing feud over Miller’s girlfriend, also suggesting Edwards was in a relationship with the same woman.
Edwards’ girlfriend told investigators Edwards and Miller were at one time best friends. The girlfriend of Edwards claimed she discovered messages in Edwards’ phone between Edwards and Miller’s girlfriend, and messages between Edwards and Miller arguing over the same woman.
Edwards allegedly told his girlfriend Miller had threatened him about “waiting for him (Edwards) with a gun,” court records say.
About three weeks before Edwards was killed, he allegedly told his sister if anything happened to him, “Jimmy did it.”
Miller’s girlfriend told investigators she was just friends with Edwards and he dropped her off at a food market in Nanticoke prior to the shooting. She also described Miller as “violent” and angry” due to his addiction to methamphetamine and crack cocaine, court records say.
Nanticoke man gets probation for killing cat
WILKES-BARRE — A Nanticoke man accused of using an air pellet rifle to kill a cat was sentenced to two years probation on a misdemeanor animal cruelty charge.
Herman Augusta Curry Jr., 65, of College Street, was charged by humane officers with the SPCA of Luzerne County after Nanticoke police and firefighters recovered a deceased cat from a tree in the area of 214 College St. on May 1, 2022, according to court records.
Curry told humane officers he believed he shot a rabid raccoon.
A necropsy, similar to an autopsy, showed the cat was shot seven times and a pellet was recovered from its spine during the procedure, court records say.
Curry claimed at the time his neighbor has a ton of garbage outside that attracts a variety of animals such as skunks, raccoons, rats, opossums and cats.
Felony charges of aggravated cruelty to animals causing death and aggravated cruelty to animals causing torture were withdrawn against Curry at a preliminary hearing.
Curry pled guilty to the misdemeanor charge of animal cruelty and was sentenced earlier this week by Luzerne County President Judge Michael T. Vough to two years probation. Curry was also ordered not to own domestic animals and pay $385 in restitution.
Nanticoke cop pinned to parked car arrests alleged drunken driver
James Halpin – Citizens Voice
A drunken Nanticoke man illegally driving an all-terrain vehicle on city streets crashed into a parked vehicle and then hit a police lieutenant, pinning his leg to a car, as he tried to flee the scene, police said.
Russ David Noss, 23, of 214 Apollo Circle, is accused of having a blood-alcohol level nearly twice the legal limit for driving when he crashed into Nanticoke police Lt. Brian Williams, who held onto the suspect and made the arrest himself after being freed.
According to the complaint, Williams was in uniform and driving a marked patrol car around 5 p.m. Thursday when he saw an ATV speeding along East Main Street and making an illegal left turn onto Locust Street.
After observing the ATV hit a one-way sign and crash into a parked car, Williams turned around and put on his lights.
Upon reaching the scene of the crash, Williams saw the driver, later identified as Noss, tip the overturned ATV back onto four wheels and attempt to re-start its engine, police said.
Williams ran to the ATV and grabbed the handlebars as well as Noss to stop him from fleeing.
Noss, however, managed to get the vehicle started. He first drove in reverse, then went forward, causing the rear wheels of the ATV to catch onto and pull Williams’ left leg, police said.
As the ATV closed in for a collision with a parked car, Williams jumped on the back to avoid being crushed, according to the complaint.
However, he was not able to avoid having his right leg pinned between the ATV and the parked car, police said.
Despite being pinned, Williams prevented Noss from fleeing the scene until responding medic Gabriel Metric turned off the ATV, seized the key and lifted the back of the vehicle to extricate Williams, according to the complaint.
Williams then handcuffed and arrested Noss before being taken to Wilkes-Barre General Hospital to be treated for injuries to his legs.
Noss, who is already on probation with a suspended driver’s license, submitted to a breath test showing a blood-alcohol level of .142%, nearly double the legal limit for driving of .08%, police said.
Police charged Noss with aggravated assault, aggravated assault by vehicle, driving under the influence and fleeing or attempting to elude police.
Magisterial District Judge Alexandra Kokura Kravitz arraigned Noss on the charges Friday morning and released him on $25,000 unsecured bail.
A preliminary hearing was scheduled for March 6.
Nanticoke man charged in alleged stolen check scheme
A Nanticoke man was charged Tuesday with two counts of forgery and other related offenses after he allegedly stole business checks from his workplace in Wilkes-Barre, forging signatures and passing the checks along to a third party in order to cash them.
Jason Dates, 30, was arrested after being implicated in what Wilkes-Barre police referred to as a “stolen check scheme” in their criminal affidavit.
Dates allegedly stole checks from Smith’s New and Used Tires, located on South Main Street in Wilkes-Barre, and used the stolen checks to buy tools and parts for his personal vehicle, according to police.
According to the criminal complaint filed against Dates:
Police were first notified of the scheme on Jan. 24, when an individual came to police headquarters to report that his manager, Dates, was stealing checks from their workplace and was having other people cash them.
Contact was made with a sergeant from the Edwardsville Police Department shortly before the witness arrived at headquarters; the sergeant reported that he had received a call about fraudulent checks being cashed at United Check Cashing in Edwardsville.
The witness told investigators that the checks were stolen from Smith’s New and Used Tires, and that Dates was the only one who had access to the checks on that day. Furthermore, the witness said that he had security footage of Dates handing off the checks to another person, a female who was then caught trying to cash them in Edwardsville.
The female told authorities in Edwardsville that it was Dates who gave her the checks to cash.
In an extended interview with Edwardsville police, the female told investigators that she was approached by two individuals, including Dates, and was asked to cash checks for them.
She said that she was paid $500 to cash the check, and told police that she was assured that the checks were legitimate. She deposited a check for $4,000 on Dates’ behalf, and then tried to cash one for $2,500 that was flagged by United Check Cashing.
Investigators also learned from the female that she had attempted to cash several other checks at Anthracite Newstand but, because they were improperly filled out, attention was drawn to them and she didn’t go through with cashing them.
This witness also told police that she didn’t receive any funds from the checks, and that Dates attempted to pay her for vehicle parts with forged checks, but they didn’t cash.
Police were able to determine through investigation and witness testimony that Dates would steal the checks from the Smith’s New and Used Tire business check book, and forge them by signing the name “Michael Smith” on the checks.
The check numbers and the business’s bank records were provided for police, showing the checks that Dates allegedly stole, wrote and tried to cash.
One unauthorized check, used to purchase a tool for the shop, was valued at $500. Dates also allegedly used the company credit card to make two purchases for vehicle parts for his personal vehicle.
Dates was arraigned in front of Magisterial District Judge James Haggerty on Tuesday morning.
He was charged with four felonies — forgery, forgery by altered writing, access device fraud and engaging in criminal conspiracy. Additional misdemeanor charges include two counts of bad checks, two counts of access device fraud and theft by unlawful taking.
Dates was bailed out at $15,000 unsecured. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 7 at 9:30 a.m. in Luzerne County Central Court.
Nanticoke man sentenced for sexually assaulting girl
WILKES-BARRE — A Nanticoke man who admitted to sexually assaulting a girl and sending her multiple lewd pictures and text messages was sentenced to spend up to 14 years in state prison Thursday.
Richard Thomas Bonk, 47, of South Prospect Street, opted to remain quiet when he appeared before Luzerne County President Judge Michael T. Vough to be sentenced on charges of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, criminal solicitation of child sexual abuse materials and corruption of minors. Bonk pled guilty to the charges Oct. 12.
County detectives and Larksville police arrested Bonk in June 2021 after the girl’s grandmother discovered nude pictures of a woman on the child’s cellular phone, according to court records.
A forensic extraction of the girl’s cellular phone resulted in a series of sexual text messages between Bonk and the girl, including Bonk sending pictures of naked woman and soliciting nude pictures of the girl, court records say.
During an interview at the Luzerne County Children’s Advocacy Center, court records say, the girl said Bonk sexually assaulted her inside his house as his wife slept.
Vough sentenced Bonk to seven to 14 years in state prison and also ordered him to register his address as a sex offender for 25 years under the state’s Sexual Offender Registration and Notification Act.
Assistant District Attorney Carly Hislop said in court the girl was 10 when Bonk began sending her sexual text messages.
Judge slams child predator with 50-100 years in prison for sex abuse case
Bob Kalinowski – Citizens Voice
A man convicted of repeatedly sexually assaulting a 6-year-old girl in Nanticoke will spend at least 50 years in state prison for his crimes, a Luzerne County judge ruled Thursday.
Luzerne County President Judge Michael Vough ordered Jayson S. Montanez to serve 50 to 100 years in prison following his conviction at his September jury trial.
It took a jury just 20 minutes to find Montanez guilty — despite his claims of innocence from the witness stand.
“Not only are his crimes egregious and heartbreaking but his continued denials shows he is not someone who could be reformed,” Luzerne County Assistant District Attorney Shana Messinger said. “He has dangerous sexual proclivities.”
Montanez, 36, who lived at 209 W. Church St. in Nanticoke, was accused of molesting the child while she was in his care between 2013 and 2014. The girl and her brother testified in graphic detail that Montanez repeatedly forced her to perform sex acts on him.
The 2014 case took years to finally come to trial following a series of appeals and court rulings, Messinger said.
“This was a solid outcome given the time and effort,” she said.
While jailed on the charges, police arrested Montanez on child pornography charges after his mother turned him in following her discovery of images of naked children, as young as ages 1 or 2, on his phone. He was sentenced to 18-36 months in prison in that case.
Additionally, police said he pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a child in Alabama in 2015, though attempts to determine his sentence in that case were not successful.
At his recent trial, Montanez and his attorney claimed that the children were being coached to fabricate their claims.
Montanez said he accepted responsibility for the pornography by pleading guilty to those charges, but he also asserted that someone had sent the images to him unsolicited and that he thought he had deleted them.
Montanez was sentenced on eight total charges including deviate sexual intercourse with a child less than 13 and aggravated indecent assault of a child.
Vehicular homicide suspect denied bail in Plymouth crash
James Halpin – Citizens Voice
A Nanticoke man accused of being high on fentanyl when he crashed and killed an 86-year-old pedestrian in Plymouth will remain in the Luzerne County Correctional Facility pending trial, a judge ordered Friday.
Jose Calo, 58, of 125 Pine St., is facing vehicular homicide charges for causing the June 25 crash that claimed the life of Plymouth resident James Mahon.
During a brief video hearing Friday, Chief Public Defender Steven Greenwald sought bail for Calo, who has been jailed without bail since his arrest in October.
Deputy District Attorney Thomas Hogans opposed the motion, saying Calo is a flight risk and a danger to the community. This is Calo’s third driving-under-the-influence arrest, and took place while his driver’s license was suspended, the prosecutor said.
He also argued that Calo is a flight risk.
Plymouth police Capt. Michael Thomas testified that when he went to make the arrest, Calo refused to open the door and then tried to run. Calo was ultimately captured after fleeing out a back door, Thomas said.
Luzerne County Judge Michael T. Vough denied the motion for bail.
Police said Calo’s red Ford Explorer veered into oncoming traffic in the area of 39 E. Main St., nearly colliding with another vehicle before stopping along the northbound curb.
Calo then resumed driving and hit two vehicles, knocking Mahon to the ground, prosecutors allege. Calo’s Ford Explorer continued moving forward, running Mahon over with both driver’s side tires, according to prosecutors.
Mahon suffered severe trauma and later died at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Plains Twp.
Authorities allege Calo was high on fentanyl at the time of the crash.
Calo is charged with homicide by vehicle while DUI, homicide by vehicle, causing a fatal accident while not properly licensed, driving under the influence, driving with a suspended license, reckless driving, careless driving, disobeying a traffic lane and failing to stop at a traffic signal.
Nanticoke mother sentenced for smothering son who interrupted sex
WILKES-BARRE — A woman from Nanticoke was recently sentenced in Luzerne County Court for smothering her son with a pillow after the boy interrupted her having sex.
Judge David W. Lupas sentenced Sharon Wallace, 40, of Slope Street, to two-to-four years in state prison on charges of strangulation, endangering the welfare of a child and simple assault. Wallace was convicted of the charges following a non-jury trial Nov. 8.
Wilkes-Barre police in court records say Wallace and her son, who suffers from attention deficit disorder, were staying at a hotel on Kidder Street because they were homeless in November 2020.
Luzerne County Children and Youth Services reportedly paid for the hotel stay.
While in a hotel room, Wallace was in a bed with her son who fell asleep. Wallace then climbed into another bed and engaged in sexual relations with a man, court records say.
The boy woke up and threw a pillow at Wallace who, in turn, used the pillow to smother the boy’s face for three to four minutes, according to court records.