Court backs prison term for probation violation
FARRELL – A former Farrell man was properly sentenced to state prison for absconding probation on a charge he initially was put on probation for, an appellate court said recently.
Gregory C. Cupic, 44, pleaded guilty Jan. 9, 2001, to a charge of criminal trespass filed by Southwest Mercer County Regional police.
He was put on 18 months’ probation, but it was extended and the terms changed when he twice violated it.
He absconded to Florida and an arrest warrant was issued in 2004.
Cupic was convicted in Florida of sexually assaulting a child younger than 13, and served 10 years in prison.
After his release, he was brought back to Pennsylvania on the warrant, and his probation was revoked for absconding and the new criminal conviction. Mercer County Common Pleas Court Judge Thomas R. Dobson sentenced Cupic in April to 2 to 5 years in prison.
Cupic appealed, arguing the sentence was excessively long and not tailored to the nature of the offense or his rehabilitative needs.
A three-judge panel of Superior Court said Nov. 27 that Cupic’s motion fails on a technical matter – he did not make his arguments about the sentence at the sentence hearing or in a timely filed post-sentence motion.
Cupic filed a post-sentence motion 18 days after sentencing, eight days outside his window of opportunity, the court said.
School eyes bargaining with support personnel
HERMITAGE – With Hermitage School District’s support personnel contract ending June 30, it’s time for school and union officials to start thinking about a new pact.
Hermitage school Superintendent Dr. Daniel Bell said he will meet with a representative of the Hermitage Educational Support Personnel Association on Jan. 7 to set a framework for negotiations.
“This is just an informal meeting to set up a meeting,” he said.
The union approved a 5-year contract in 2007 that set wage hikes of 3.25 percent for the first four years and 3.4 percent for the final year.
The contract, like those with teachers and administrators, was extended a year for a one-year wage freeze for the 2011-12 school year.
HESPA, which includes maintenance and cafeteria workers, aides and secretaries, has roughly 100 members.
The teacher’s union contract ends June 20, 2015.
Two establishments cited for liquor violations
MERCER COUNTY – Two local establishments have been cited for liquor code violations.
State police said Carini Restaurant, 210-212 Main St., Greenville, has been cited for selling alcohol after its restaurant liquor license expired between Aug. 27 and 31 and Sept. 3 and 7. The license expired July 31, police said.
The Clark House, 3590 Valley View Road, Clark, has been cited for failing to clean its dispensing system at least once a week between Feb. 14 and Aug. 27, police said.
Girl admits conspiracy in service station robbery
STONEBORO – A Fairview Township girl pleaded guilty Nov. 15 to a charge of conspiracy to commit robbery for the Dec. 1, 2012, stickup of a Stoneboro gas station.
Jenna M. Wygant, 16, of 99 Fredonia Hadley Road, could be sentenced to up to 10 to 20 years for the first-degree felony, although such a stiff penalty seems unlikely. Her co-defendant, Shantasia M. Kirchell, 20, formerly of Sandy Lake, was sentenced in September to 3 to 10 years for robbery.
According to state police, Kirchell, wearing a mask and gloves, used a handgun to rob Dye’s Service Station, 2295 Mercer St., of $180.
Wygant got the gun from a relative and drove Kirchell to the scene, police said. Wygant wore a “disguise,” police said, and she and Kirchell burned their clothes in a wood burner at the girl’s home, police said.
Police recovered a firearm from the girl’s car, police said.
The money was believed to have been used to buy crack cocaine, police said, and Kirchell admitted to a drug problem at her sentence hearing.
Elderly sex offender will serve up to 10 years
GREENE TOWNSHIP – A Greene Township man was sentenced Nov. 21 to 5 to 10 years in prison on a charge of aggravated indecent assault.
Blaise P. Tunstall, 68, of 12 Tower Road, pleaded guilty to the charge in July, and prosecutors and Tunstall’s attorney agreed to the sentence as part of his plea.
Tunstall will need to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
The girl, who was 15 when state police filed charges in January, said Tunstall molested her from 2004, when she was 7, through the summer of 2012 at his home and other nearby locations, police said.
Brothers stole copper, police charge
SOUTH PYMATUNING TOWNSHIP – Brothers were arrested after police said they stole copper from the railroad bed area near Thomason Road on Nov. 23.
Corey W. McFarland, 31, and Justin R. McFarland, 29, both of 37 Charles St., Clark, were caught walking to a relative’s house with Corey McFarland’s 13-year-old son at 12:20 a.m. with copper wire and tools, police said.
The brothers told police they cut and bundled the wire from the area of track off Thomason Road, police said. They were found with tools to cut the wire, duct tape for bundling and a flashlight, police said.
Both were charged with theft by unlawful taking, conspiracy, possessing instruments of crime and corruption of a minor.
Corey McFarland also was charged with giving a false identification to police, which he said he did because he had an outstanding warrant and did not want to be arrested and handcuffed in front of his son, police said.
Court backs prison term for probation violation
- Local News
Driver who crashed into house was drunk, police say
The driver of a car that crashed into a house Feb. 27 in Hermitage, has been charged with drunken driving and other offenses.
Woman protests man’s plea, sentence
The young woman approached the judge tentatively, trembling, on the arm of a former policeman who was so touched by her story that it contributed to his decision to leave policing.
Her story is harrowing: two years of physical and sexual abuse. The man she accused of committing the crimes retorted that it never happened.
Primary Health planning to build
Downtown Sharon is looking forward to its first new office building since 1969.
Primary Health Network is planning a $20 million development that will put 130 people to work in a five-story medical-professional office building at the corner of Vine Avenue and Pitt Street.
2 commissioners talk up getting word out, helpline
In what Commissioner Matt McConnell called the “everyday mundane business of running the county” two of the three county officials discussed everything from the 2-1-1 helpline to parking problems to building sheep pens to the idea of using social media to spread information to residents.
Mom sentenced to prison, rehab
A Mercer woman who pleaded guilty to charges she caused an accident while high on drugs with her four kids in the car will “be out on probation very quickly,” the judge said.
Testimony heard on billboard appeal
Images of the Old West flew like bullets from a six-shooter as a Westmoreland County company asked the Hermitage Zoning Hearing Board to shoot down the city’s zoning ordinance.
Man made funny money, cops say
A Hempfield Township man has been charged by three police departments with making and/or passing counterfeit bills in Mercer County.
Worshippers will again fill former synagogue
The temple in Sharon that served Jewish families until last June will be sheltering a Christian congregation when they hold their first worship service there on Sunday.
Shots ring out again
Shots rang out early Wednesday morning in the 1300 block of Farrell Terrace for the fourth time in three weeks.
“I want to know, what’s the draw?” Riley Smoot, Southwest Mercer County Regional police chief, said about the area in Farrell. “These are innocent people. People who are not bothering anyone.”
Finding common ground ‘Paramount’ to judge
A judge on Monday asked the disputing sides claiming control of a Wheatland company to come to some sort of resolution that will keep the 80 employees of Paramount Games Inc. working as usual and avoid prolonged litigation.
Auditors ask Presley’s appeal be dismissed
South Pymatuning Township Board of Auditors is trying to head off a March 25 hearing on the validity of the auditors cutting the pay of working Supervisor Mark Presley.
Bullying takes center stage
If you heard a loud roar in Sharon Tuesday, it was nothing to be alarmed about. It was coming from the Sharon Tigers at Case Avenue Elementary School.
Woman scammed in online loan deal
A Sharon woman lost money in an online scam after trying to negotiate a $1,500 loan through a website.
Yumberries sandwiches violate lease, Hot Heads says
A Hermitage restaurant has sued its landlord alleging the owner of Hermitage Square Plaza is breaking the lease with Hot Head Burritos by allowing another tenant to operate a restaurant.
Zoo owner given a month to sell
The owner of a Sharon bar has been given a one-month reprieve from losing his restaurant liquor license so he can attempt to sell it.
- More Local News Headlines
- Driver who crashed into house was drunk, police say