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November 2013 Archives

DUI is Common on Thanksgiving Eve

Pretty much anyone in the bar business across the United States can tell you that Thanksgiving Eve is the biggest bar night of the year. As a criminal defense attorney practicing in Centre, Mifflin, Juniata and Huntingdon Counties, I can tell you the same thing. The biggest bar night of the year also means a big night for DUI arrests. Every year, I seem to pick up at least one client who managed to ruin the holiday by getting a DUI on Thanksgiving Eve. thanksgiving.eve.2.jpg

Former Penn State LB Recruit Enters Favorable Plea Agreement

Zayd Issah, an erstwhile highly touted linebacker in the 2013 Penn State recruiting class, has accepted a favorable plea offer, which will spare him a violent felony conviction and additional jail time. During Arts Fest in downtown State College last summer, Issah was involved in an altercation with police, leading to two counts of aggravated assault on police officers, one count of simple assault, five counts of resisting arrest and one count of possession of small amount of marijuana for personal use. Pursuant to the plea agreement accepted by Judge Pamela A. Ruest of the Centre County Court of Common Pleas, Issah pled guilty to simple assault, resisting arrest and possession of a small amount of marijuana for a sentence of five days to 23.5 months. Issah previously served five days before posting bail, so he will serve additional jail time in this case only if he violates parole. zayd.issah.jpg

Attorney Charged with Robbery of Pennsylvania Convenience Store

A 50 year old, female attorney is behind bars, unable to post bail on a Lebanon County, Pennsylvania robbery charge. Kathy Laurino Yeatter is accused of robbing the Sunoco A-Plus Market on Routes 72 and 419 in West Cornwall Township on November 12, 2013. She was taken into custody without incident shortly after police pulled over her vehicle in response to a 911 dispatch. Kathy.Yeatter.jpg

Aggravated Assault Charge Against Pennsylvania Woman who Left Baby in Hot Car


A 37 year old Central Pennsylvania women has been charged with aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of a child in Lebanon County, after leaving an eight month old baby in a sweltering car for over two hours in July of this year. The baby barely survived, and is now brain-damaged, blind and deaf. The defendant, Damaris Manrique, had been the baby's legal guardian. Damaris.Marique.jpg

Assault Charges Could Arise from Fraternity Hazing

Fraternity brothers at Gamma Phi Gamma at Wilmington College in Ohio could face assault charges after literally going "balls out" while hazing pledges earlier this semester. Even if you are among the minority of people who sees value in hazing, I think we can all agree that a freshman should not lose a testicle from hazing-related abuse, yet that is exactly what happened in this case. Police allege that fraternity bullies tied towels into knots and used them as clubs to pummel naked, blindfolded pledges. A 19 year old pledge was hit so hard in the scrotum, that one of his testicles was damaged beyond repair, requiring it to be removed in an emergency surgery. Wanting something so bad you would "give up a left nut," should never be more than a vulgar metaphor! hazing2.jpg

Why Pennsylvania Drug Felonies are Rarely ARD Eligible

As a criminal defense attorney who represents a lot of Penn State students, there is one characteristic common to all of my college student clients: they want to avoid a criminal record. ARD, which stands for "Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition" is a program for first time offenders in Pennsylvania. Successful completion of the ARD program allows a defense attorney to file a motion seeking dismissal of charges and expungement of the defendant's record. gavel.pot.leaf.jpeg

Marijuana Fairy Leaves Treats in Beaver Canyon

On Halloween morning this year, the marijuana fairy of stoner lore left some ganja edibles on the sidewalk in Beaver Canyon in downtown State College Pennsylvania. The edibles appear to resemble Rice Crispy treats, only made from Fruity Pebbles. But alas, the Marijuana Fairy's present never made it into the hands of grateful stoners. Instead, someone handed the cereal bars over to State College Police. marijuana.cereal.bar.jpeg

Teen Assaults Detective, Turning Summary Offenses into Felonies


Every experienced criminal defense lawyer has had his share of clients who managed to turn a mere summary offense into a serious felony like aggravated assault, based upon their interactions with law enforcement at the time of arrest. A common scenario involves a drunk Penn State student exhibiting the fight or flight instinct when confronted by the police for minor offenses like underage drinking, public drunkenness or urinating in public. While fighting a cop is obviously creates a no-win situation, running away is not a good choice either. When confronted by police, it is in the suspect's own best interests to be cooperative.