Decision postponed on release of man with overturned drug conviction

By Patrick Kernan - [email protected]
Parrish -

WILKES-BARRE — Even though his conviction was overturned by the state Superior Court, an Allentown man will need to wait a bit longer to see if he’s going home.

Braemar Parrish, 32, was convicted in January 2016 of felony drug counts after being arrested by Kingston police during a traffic stop in April 2014. Officers said Parrish was seated in the rear of a vehicle, while a duffel bag filled with heroin and methamphetamine and other paraphernalia was in the front seat. Two handguns were also found.

The driver of the vehicle, Pernell Riddick, 29, of Bethlehem, pleaded guilty to gun and drug charges.

Parrish’s convictions were recently overturned on the grounds his large body size would prevent him from quickly jumping from the front of the vehicle to the back.

At a brief hearing Tuesday, Luzerne County Judge Tina Polachek Gartley said not much could be done until the Superior Court released its record, which won’t happen until June 8.

Assistant District Attorney Jill Matthews said the District Attorney’s Office had filed to re-argue the case Friday, but an error caused the filing to be made only at the county level and not the state level. The request will be re-filed before the June 8 deadline.

Until then, defense attorney Jonathan Blum agreed to withdraw three motions that led to Tuesday’s hearing pending the results from the Superior Court, including a motion for release of his client. He said he would reinstate what motions were necessary at that time.


By Patrick Kernan

[email protected]

Reach Patrick Kernan at 570-991-6386 or on Twitter @PatKernan

Reach Patrick Kernan at 570-991-6386 or on Twitter @PatKernan