Saturday, July 26, 2014

Ruling due in Hazleton man’s carjacking case

October 30. 2013 11:48PM

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WILKES-BARRE — A Luzerne County judge will issue a ruling Friday in the case of a Hazleton man accused in connection with the carjacking of a woman’s vehicle last year in Rice Township.

Leonard Montalvo-Rivera, 31, who is charged with robbery, criminal conspiracy, theft and simple assault charges, waived a jury trial Tuesday in favor of a trial by Judge Fred A. Pierantoni III.

Police said the victim, Maryanna Millner, 23, was driving a Dodge minivan and had stopped along the shoulder of Interstate 81 when she was approached by Montalvo-Rivera and four other Hazleton residents at about 1:45 a.m. June 26, 2012. Millner told police she was ordered out of her vehicle at gunpoint and told to sit in a rear seat of the van. One of the four suspects drove the van a short distance before releasing Millner along the highway.

Weatherly police spotted the vehicle near state Route 93 and Quakake Road in Packer Township at about 3:10 a.m. Multiple police departments converged on the area and arrested one of the suspects at about 7 a.m. and the other three at about 8 a.m., state police said.

Also charged were Wilson Peguero-Mateo, then 18, Jean Carlos Ventura-Betancourt, then 23, and a 16-year-old male. Peguero-Mateo and Ventura-Betancourt pleaded guilty in separate proceedings earlier this year.

Full details about their sentencing arrangements could not immediately be verified Wednesday afternoon, although documents in the Ventura-Betancourt case suggested that he “agrees to testify truthfully for the Commonwealth at trial,” would have no contact with the victim or his co-defendants and agreed to $3,610 in restitution.

Information about the juvenile was not available.

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