The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

March 12, 2013

Court accepts deadly weapon enhancement

MERCER COUNTY — Superior Court said Friday a Mercer County judge properly imposed a deadly weapon enhancement when sentencing a former Sharon woman for hitting a Farrell woman in the forehead with a drinking glass.

Alicia A. Harris, 31, was convicted by a jury last April on charges of two counts of simple assault and one count of reckless endangerment, and not guilty of two counts of aggravated assault.

Southwest Mercer County Regional police said Harris argued with a woman March 25, 2011, over Harris smoking marijuana in the woman’s home in the 1100 block of Emerson Avenue, Farrell.

Harris punched the victim in the face several times and hit her with the drinking glass, causing a cut that required four stitches to close, officials said.

Mercer County Common Pleas Court Judge Thomas R. Dobson sentenced Harris to 9 to 24 months in state prison. The minimum standard sentence without the deadly weapons enhancement under state sentencing guidelines is 3 to 12 months, while deadly weapon enhancement kicks it up to 9 to 12 months.

Harris appealed, saying the deadly weapons enhancement should not have been imposed because the jury acquitted her of aggravated assault by use of a deadly weapon, meaning that it found she did not use the drinking glass to hit the victim.

“(A)n acquittal on the aggravated assault charges does not preclude a conviction for recklessly endangering another person and the deadly weapon enhancement,” said Superior Court Judge Jacqueline O. Shogan, writing for a three-judge panel.

In looking at the definitions of the crimes in which Harris was charged, aggravated assault requires an attempt to cause serious bodily injury, while reckless endangerment does not, Shogan said.

“The jury could reasonably have found that the injury did not rise to the level of serious bodily injury,” he said. “Additionally, the jury could have reasonably concluded that (Harris) did not attempt to cause serious bodily injury or did not intend to cause bodily injury.”

The court added that the constitution does not require that the jury make the finding of deadly weapon use.

“Aside from a prior conviction, only facts that increase the penalty for a crime beyond the statutory maximum must be submitted to a jury and proved beyond a reasonable doubt,” Shogan said. “Here, the penalty for recklessly endangering another person, which was graded as a misdemeanor of the second degree, was not increased beyond the statutory maximum of 2 years.”

Text Only
Local News
  • Man deemed predator – for now

    A former Sharon man was sent to the state prison system Tuesday for corrupting the morals of a teenage girl, but the question of whether his penalties under Megan’s Law will stand could be subject to future legal proceedings.

    April 23, 2014

  • Not even waste will be wasted

    Tom Darby admits he wishes the startup of the anaerobic digestion process at the Hermitage Water Pollution Control Plant had moved along much faster.

    April 23, 2014

  • 3rd Earth Fest draws families to Penn State

    Penn State Shenango’s Earth Fest has become a spring tradition for area residents.
    Families poured into downtown Sharon for the campus’ third annual sustainability celebration.

    April 22, 2014

  • Amish clean Shenango River Volunteers protect Shenango River

    Shenango River Watchers has spent more than a decade working to clean up the Shenango and improve recreational access to its water and banks.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • For many, recycling’s become way of life

    When Pennsylvania mandated curbside recycling for its larger municipalities in 1998 – those with more than 5,000 people – there was grumbling about government interference in the lives of everyday people.

    April 22, 2014

  • Many items can’t be thrown away

    The computer screen in front of you isn’t likely to do you much harm, at least not until it’s tossed in a landfill where the lead-filled components start to leak and eventually find their way into your drinking water, according to Jerry Zona, director of the Lawrence-Mercer County Recycling/Solid Waste department.

    April 22, 2014

  • David Sykes' solar panels Earthworks

    While touring Germany last year, David Sykes spotted solar panels resting in a residential back yard.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Burned using Icy Hot, woman claims

    A Grove City woman has sued Chattem Inc. and Rite Aid of Pennsylvania Inc., alleging she suffered a second-degree chemical burn using one of Chattem’s Icy Hot pain relief products.

    April 21, 2014

  • Family outing Family friendly

    “We’re No. 5’’ isn’t a sports cheer you’ll hear any time soon.
    But considering the lumps the greater area has gotten over the years on economic rankings, it’s an outright victory.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • To demolish or not Tear it down? Fix it up?

    In 2007, Richard D. Givens bought a home at 831 Knobwood Drive in Hermitage for $245,000.
    Today, the city of Hermitage is seeking the demolition of the now-vacant house, arguing the damage from water infiltration makes the structure not worth saving.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • News briefs from April 19, 2014

    April 19, 2014

  • Man admits having child porn

    A Mercer man accused of soliciting and downloading photographs of nude teenage girls pleaded guilty April 8 to sexual abuse of children for possessing child pornography.

    April 19, 2014

  • Police getting new tool to fight crime

    Sharon police working at crime scenes will be putting a powerful new investigative tool to work as soon as next month.

    April 19, 2014

  • Soap box derby finds new home

    The Greater Pennsylvania Super Kids soap box derby for special-needs kids is moving to Sharpsville.

    April 19, 2014

  • News briefs from April 18, 2014

    ‘Nonspecific threat’ prompts evacuation

    Supreme Court refuses to hear couple’s appeal

    Lung Association offering free radon test kits

    April 18, 2014