Court Briefs

By Ed Lewis - [email protected]
McConnell -

Man waives hearing

in molestation case

WILKES-BARRE — A man from Danville charged with molesting two girls inside a Salem Township office in April waived his right to a preliminary hearing in Luzerne County Central Court on Friday.

Salem Township police charged David Warren McConnell, 55, on April 13 after he kissed and hugged a 12-year-old girl and groped a 13-year-old girl at his place of employment March 23, according to a criminal complaint.

Police were notified of the alleged incident by a school official at Berwick Area Middle School in Salem Township.

The two girls were interviewed separately at the Luzerne County Children’s Advocacy Center.

The 12-year-old told a forensic interviewer that she often visited her grandfather at a manufacturing business on Fowler Street after school and is accompanied by her 13-year-old friend. She claimed the grandfather gives them money to buy a drink at a store.

Both girls claimed they knew McConnell through the grandfather.

McConnell invited the girls to an office where he allegedly kissed and hugged the younger girl, and groped the older girl, the complaint says.

McConnell will now face charges of indecent assault and corruption of minors in county court.

Prosecutors withdrew a second count of corruption of minors.

McConnell, who had been jailed at the county lockup since his arrest April 18, was released Friday when his bail was modified from $75,000 straight to unsecured.

Alleged gunman

will stand trial

WILKES-BARRE — A Wilkes-Barre man who allegedly assaulted a woman and barricaded himself inside a residence on Lloyds Lane will face trial on related charges.

Shatik Dawes, 29, of Brown Street, appeared for a preliminary hearing in Luzerne County Central Court on Friday, where two counts of illegal possession of a firearm, and one count each of simple assault, terroristic threats, reckless endangerment, resisting arrest, harassment and disorderly conduct were sent to county court.

City police allege Dawes entered a house on Brown Street, strangled a woman by her neck, and held a gun to her head threatening to kill her April 13.

Police said Dawes left the house and went to Lloyds Lane where he resisted arrest and ran into a house where he barricaded himself inside. A hostage negotiator eventually got Dawes to exit the residence without incident.

Dawes remains jailed for lack of $250,000 bail.

Man who blamed spiders

for stabbing to face trial

WILKES-BARRE — A Lehighton man who was allegedly under the influence of methamphetamine when he blamed spiders for stabbing another man waived his right to a preliminary hearing in Luzerne County Central Court this week.

Kevin Michael Hegarty, 36, now faces charges of simple assault and resisting arrest in county court.

Prosecutors withdrew counts of possessing instruments of crime and institutional vandalism.

Pittston police charged Hegarty after he allegedly stabbed Stoney Hayes inside a residence on Chapel Street on April 22. Hayes told police Hegarty threw a bed frame through his bedroom door and yelled “they’re in my closet,” according to a criminal complaint.

Hayes claimed he tackled Hegarty, telling him to calm down. Hegarty told Hayes to check his closet because “they are inside.”

Hayes said Hegarty grabbed a knife and charged at him, allegedly stabbing Hayes several times.

Police found Hegarty hiding under a trailer along North Main Street.

When Hegarty was arrested, he swung his arms, saying “get off me spiders,” the complaint says.

Teen gets probation

for using lost card

WILKES-BARRE — A teen from Shamokin has pleaded guilty to using a lost bank card to purchase items at a Kingston store.

Tyrese Jordan Derrick-Wilson, 18, appeared this week in Luzerne County Central Court where he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of access device fraud. Prosecutors withdrew a second count of the same charge.

Kingston police allege Derrick-Wilson found a wallet in the restroom of McDonald’s in Wilkes-Barre, then used a bank card in the wallet to purchase items at a store on Market Street on May 2.

Derrick-Wilson was sentenced to eight months on probation.

Pringle man waives hearing

WILKES-BARRE — A man from Pringle accused of soliciting sex from whom he thought was a teen boy waived his right to a preliminary hearing in Luzerne County Central Court this week.

Michael A. Laton Jr., 33, of Hoyt Street, will now face in county court these charges: unlawful contact with a minor, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and criminal use of a communication facility.

Laton was arrested May 8 when he arrived at a location in Kingston under the belief he was meeting a 14-year-old boy for sex, according to a criminal complaint.

A state agent posed as the boy on a social media app where Laton allegedly solicited sex from the minor.

Kingston man must

serve probation term

WILKES-BARRE — A Kingston man who allegedly threatened two women with a cinder block pleaded guilty this week.

Joseph Reese Williams, 56, of West Union Street, pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and was sentenced to three months on probation.

Williams pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor during a preliminary hearing in Luzerne County Central Court.

Prosecutors withdrew two counts each of terroristic threats and harassment.

Two women claimed Williams was highly intoxicated and threatened to shoot them outside an apartment building on West Union Street on May 13. They claimed Williams picked up a cinder block and threatened to throw it at his female roommate, according to a criminal complaint.


By Ed Lewis

[email protected]