Advocate to stand trial
on marijuana charges
WILKES-BARRE — A Forty Fort man on a crusade to reform drug laws will now face marijuana possession charges in Luzerne County Court.
Adam Cottle, 31, appeared Friday for a preliminary hearing before District Judge Daniel O’Donnell, who forwarded to county court 10 total counts of possession of drug paraphernalia, four counts of possession of a small amount of marijuana, and one count each of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance.
The charges reflect two separate criminal complaints filed by Lehman Township police and Kingston Township police.
Lehman Township police allege Cottle was in possession of marijuana, a bag of marijuana oil, rolling papers, a grinder and a scale during a traffic stop for a suspicious vehicle in a cemetery during the middle of the night on June 1, 2017.
An arrest warrant was issued for Cottle on Dec. 12.
Cottle was arrested when he was found at a restaurant in Kingston Township on March 24.
At the time of his arrest, Kingston Township police allege Cottle had three bags of marijuana and a vaporizer pen in his pockets.
Cottle previously told the Times Leader he’s pushing for the legalization of marijuana for recreational use, not just for medicinal purposes.
Man gets probation
for neglecting pit bull
WILKES-BARRE — A man from Scranton charged with neglecting a dog left in a cold attic of a Freeland house with no food and water was sentenced in Luzerne County Court on Thursday.
Jeffrey William Norton Jr., 23, of North Bromley Avenue, was sentenced by Judge Michael Vough to six months on probation. He must also perform 30 hours of community service on a single count of neglect of animals.
Prosecutors withdrew three other counts of animal neglect against Norton.
Wayne Harvey, a police officer with the SPCA of Luzerne County, rescued a pit bull named Diesel from 305 Ridge St., Freeland, on Nov. 30.
According to a criminal complaint:
Harvey responded to the residence on a complaint from a neighbor. The neighbor directed Harvey to an attic door that was screwed shut.
After Harvey removed the screws, an extremely emaciated pit bull emerged from the attic that had trouble walking down the stairs.
Harvey noted temperatures were below zero that night and the attic was not equipped with heat or shelter for the dog. There was no food or water and feces and urine littered the attic floor.
Diesel, who weighed 35.8 pounds when rescued, was near death and was slowly nourished back to health.
Norton formerly resided at the Freeland residence.
Student waives hearing
on charges he molested girl
WILKES-BARRE — An 18-year-old accused of molesting a female student inside a school waived his right to a preliminary hearing in Luzerne County Central Court on Friday.
Police with the Luzerne Intermediate Unit charged David Royster, of New Alexander Street, Wilkes-Barre, in March after a female student at the Plains Alternative Learning Center claimed he molested her in a hallway.
She further alleged she received threatening messages on social media from Royster and his friends for reporting the alleged incident to school officials and police.
Royster appeared before District Judge James Dixon, waiving his hearing on two counts of indecent assault and one count each of intimidation of a witness or victim and corruption of minors.
Royster remains free on $25,000 bail.
NJ man facing trial
in police-pursuit case
WILKES-BARRE — A man from Jersey City, N.J., accused of initiating a pursuit with police waived his right to a preliminary hearing in Luzerne County Central Court on Friday.
State police at Wyoming charged Stephen Nicholas Reid, 31, after he allegedly failed to stop for a traffic violation on Route 315 in Pittston Township on April 27.
Reid sped away and turned onto the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, later crashing into trees, police report. A township cruiser, a state police cruiser and a vehicle used by U.S. Marshals were damaged during the chase.
Reid waived to county court five counts of recklessly endangering another person, two counts of criminal mischief, and one count each of fleeing or attempting to elude police and driving with a suspended license. He also faces four traffic citations.
Prosecutors withdrew two counts of aggravated assault.
Reid remains jailed at the county lockup for lack of $100,000 bail.