The Week in Review...

Commonwealth v. McCollum - The Superior Court this week upheld the conviction and sentence for Steve McCollum, Jr.  A  Dauphin County jury convicted him in 2012 of attempted murder in connection with a  shooting that occurred on North Summit Street in Harrisburg in October 2011.  McCollum shot Tim Juett in the back following an argument over a parking space. Judge Andrew Dowling sentenced McCollum to a 20 to 40 year state prison sentence. The Superior Court denied McCollum’s arguments that his sentence was excessive, evidence was illegally obtained, and an eyewitness identification should have been excluded at trial.  As a result, McCollums sentence and conviction were both upheld.   

CASE UPDATE:  Commonwealth v. Michael Gelsinger - (February 20, 2014)-  Michael Gelsinger will stand trial for the shooting death of Tiana Dockens, 18 of Harrisburg following a preliminary hearing before MDJ George Zozos on Thursday, February, 20, 2014.  Dockens is the granddaughter of Harrisburg City Council President Wanda Williams. Gelsinger is accused of fatally shooting Dockens on Thompson Street in Harrisburg on December 6, 2013.  He is being held without bail in Dauphin County Prison.  You can read more about this case on PennLive by clicking hereNote:  Gelsinger's charges are an accusation at this time and he is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.  Senior Deputy District Attorney John Baer handled this case for the Commonwealth.   

Commonwealth v. Rashawn Knox - (February 18, 2014) - Charges of Criminal Attempt Homicide, Robbery, and Conspiracy against Rashawn Knox were bound over after a preliminary hearing on Tuesday, February 18.  The Commonwealth alleges that on September 13, 2013, Knox lured the victim to a location in order to complete a Robbery.  When the Robbery went bad, Knox began chasing the victim and firing shots at him in the middle of the street in Harrisburg City.  The victim was hit with at least one of the bullets and suffered internal damage.  Another victim was struck as well by a stray bullet.   Note: Knox's charges are an accusation at this time and he is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.  Deputy District Attorney Abby Trovinger handled this case for the Commonwealth.

Commonwealth v. Tassai Betts - (February 19, 2014) - Tassai Bettsof Harrisburg, was held for court on Wednesday on robbery and attempted murder charges.  It is alleged Betts attempted to rob a National Guard sergeant who was resting in his vehicle near 11th and State Streets in Harrisburg.  It is alleged Betts grabbed the victim and demanded money.  When the victim did not turn over the money, Betts shot the victim 5 times at close range.  The victim was able to drive to a nearby convenience store where a passerby contacted police.  Note: Bett's charges are an accusation at this time and he is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.  Senior Deputy District Attorney Steve Zawisky handled this case for the Commonwealth.

Commonwealth v. Richard Rodriguez-Rodriguez(February 20, 2014)   Richard Rodriguez-Rodriguez, 38, pleaded guilty to possession of heroin and drug paraphernalia on February 20 before the Hon. Andrew H. Dowling.  Rodriguez-Rodriguez was discovered by Harrisburg Police and Dauphin County Probation officers to be in possession of eight blue wax paper bags containing heroin while standing in the 1300 block of Derry Street on October 22, 2013.  Deputy District Attorney David Wilson handled this case for the Commonwealth.

Commonwealth v. Morrison - ( February 20, 2014) - Pamela A. Morrison, 50, pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of alcohol before the Hon. Andrew H. Dowling on February 20.  A caller on July 13, 2013, called the Hummelstown Police to report that a driver in a red Monte Carlo had driven up onto the sidewalk and almost hit her.  Police located Morrison sitting in a backyard with her dog.  She was heavily intoxicated and told officers, “I am listening to my car.”  She was found to have a blood alcohol content of .290, which is three times the legal limit of .08.  She was sentenced to a period of intermediate punishment by Judge Dowling, including four months of house arrest with electronic monitoring.  Morrison was also given credit for 35 days that she speant in the Roxbury treatment center.  Deputy District Attorney David Wilson handled this case for the Commonwealth.

CASE UPDATE:  Commonwealth v. Heriberto Amaro - (February 18, 2014) - The Hon. Judge Richard A. Lewis sentenced Heriberto Amaro to 24-48 months in a state correctional institute for this crimes.  Last week, after a two day trial, Heriberto Amaro  was found guilty of one count of Simple Assault and one count of Criminal Conspiracy.  He was convicted for the assaulting his then-girlfriend, and for threats made to her regarding making a police report, and the shooting of her mini-van all on September 7, 2012.  This case was highlighted in last weekes "week in Review" - to read more click hereDeputy District Attorney Abby Trovinger prosecuted this case for the Commonwealth.   

Commonwealth v. Timothy Lipscomb - (February 20, 2014) - Timothy Lipscomb waived his preliminary hearing before Magisterial District Judge Barbara Pianka.  Lipscomb is charged with causing or risking a catastrophe, recklessly endangering another person endangering the welfare of children and false report.  Lipscomb is accused of fabricating homemade heaters out of a cookie pan, candles and a terra cotta pot- put a few around his apartment on north 2nd st., and then left the home while his 11 month old baby was sleeping in its crib for more than 2 hours.  At some point the heaters started a large fire that displaced residents of 3 homes.  His baby was ultimately uninjured however the fire damaged 3 homes, displaced 12 people and caused approximately $575,000 in damage.  Ahomemade terracotta heater similar to the one in this case is pictured below.  Note: Lipscomb's charges are an accusation at this time and he is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.  Deputy District Attorney Joel Hogentogler handled this case for the Commonwealth.

                                                                                                                    

Commonwealth v. Bry’Drick Wright - (February 18, 2014) - On February 18, 2014 charges including Possession with Intent to Deliver a Controlled Substance and Recklessly Endangering Another Person were held for court against Bry’Drick Wright, 18, of Harrisburg City by the Honorable Senior Magisterial District Judge Paula Correal, sitting for the Honorable Magisterial District Judge LaVon Postelle. Wright is alleged to have possessed over 50 bags of heroin in his vehicle while driving near the 1100 block of Cloverly Road. When officers attempted to stop the defendant for traffic offenses, he is alleged to have fled in the vehicle and the abandon the vehicle by jumping out of the driver’s door. Two unknown passengers also jumped from the vehicle. The vehicle continued forward until it crashed into a tree near Cloverly Road. All three suspects escaped the scene. Wright is currently pending charges before the Dauphin County Court of Commons Pleas including Possession with Intent to Deliver a Controlled Substance, Carrying a Firearm without a License, and Receiving Stolen Property of a firearm. Note: Wright's charges are an accusation at this time and he is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.  Deputy District Attorney Chris Jason prosecuted the preliminary hearing.

Commonwealth v. James Moffit - (February 18, 2014) - On February 18, 2014 a Burglary charge was waived for court by James Moffit, 29, formerly of Steelton before the Honorable Senior Magisterial District Judge Paula Correal, sitting for the Honorable Magisterial District Judge LaVon Postelle. Moffit is alleged to have burglarized the home of Leondra Smith-Manning, daughter of Harrisburg City Councilwoman Eugenia Smith, and stealing a television after helping her to move into the home the prior day.  Note: Moffit's charges are an accusation at this time and he is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. Deputy District Attorney Chris Jason prosecuted the preliminary hearing.