The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

December 18, 2013

Local news briefs for Dec. 17, 2013


- — Second man pleads guilty in robbery probe

SHARPSVILLE – A second man has entered a guilty plea in connection with March 24 robbery of a pizza shop owner in Sharpsville.

Richard E. Crawford Jr., 28, of 303 N. Mercer Ave., Sharpsville, pleaded guilty Tuesday to a charge of theft, a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 2è to 5 years in prison.

Prosecutors withdrew charges of robbery and conspiracy.

William D. “Scooter” Koehler, 33, of 408 W. State St., Sharon, pleaded guilty in September to robbery, and is being evaluated by the state Department of Corrections to determine his eligibility for the State Intermediate Punishment program, a two-year program of incarceration, treatment and counseling for low-level offenders with drug and alcohol problems.

Koehler hit Hometown Pizza owner Jeff Miller over the head with a sharp object, fought him, threatened him with a knife and stole $300 to $400, police said.

Crawford was the lookout man, police said.


Dad joins son in pleading guilty to abuse of girl

LACKAWANNOCK TOWNSHIP – A Lackawannock Township man has pleaded guilty to a charge of aggravated indecent assault for sexually assaulting a teen girl with cerebral palsy that he was the caregiver for.

Christopher D. Atkinson, 60, of 25 Jellison Lane, pleaded guilty Thursday to a second-degree felony and could be punished to up to 5 to 10 years in prison.

In November, Atkinson’s son, Aaron S., 23, of the same address pleaded guilty to corruption of a minor in the same case. His charge is a third-degree felony and he could be sentenced to a maximum 3è to 7 years.

The assaults occurred between 2010 and 2012 in their home, when the girl was as young as 13, state police said. Police allege each man assaulted the girl independently of the other.

The girl has moved to Texas and reported the assaults to a family member, who notified authorities in Guadalupe County. The girl, who is unable to speak and communicates by an iPad Touch, was interviewed by child advocates, who passed on the video of the interview to Pennsylvania State Police.

The Atkinsons were interviewed separately and each admitted some sexual contact with the girl, police said.

Charges were filed May 1.