Shooter sentenced to 9-18 years

WADE WRIGHT

 

BY ROBERT L. BAKER

Wyoming County Press Examiner

 

The Tunkhannock man who fired a gun in 2012 at a carload of persons looking at a windmill in Wyoming County being constructed was sentenced Wednesday morning to 9-18 years in state prison for his actions.

Wade Douglas Wright, 43, of Copper Kettle Park, Tunkhannock, appeared before President Judge Russell Shurtleff, and his attorney, Demetrious Fannick, who said Wright never intended to hit anyone.

Fannick acknowledged the victims were sightseers looking at the windmill project in Noxen Twp., and the ‘No Trespassing’ signs were posted to keep people out.

He said his client suffered from some health issues and the fact the victim’s vehicle was on his property “increased his anxiety and emotional state.”

Fannick said that because Wright accepted responsibility for his actions, he was asking the judge to consider concurrent sentences for each of four reckless endangerment counts.

However, both the driver of the Jeep Wrangler, Thomas Anthony Weeks, and the passenger who actually was struck by a bullet from Wright’s gun, Weeks’ sister-in-law Mary Josephine McClaine of Clifford, took the stand to plead with Judge Shurtleff for a stiff sentence.

McClaine said that after she was shot in the back, “I knew I would die,” and she shared how her sister comforted her through the trauma.

“My body reminds me every day of what happened, and the truth is my entire family was traumatized by this man’s senseless action.”

She then looked at Wright and said that after a year’s incarceration, “I’m appalled that you never bothered to say, ‘I’m sorry.’”

McClaine said, however, “I want to thank everyone who took care to save my life. I can’t say thank you enough.”

Weeks described Wright’s behavior as senseless and careless, and said, “We have all suffered from the trauma of this man who had no regard for human life.”

He added, “I will never forget hearing Mary Jo screaming out, and I will never forget the look of having a pistol pointed straight at me.”

“Whoever committed this act needs to understand the consequences of his actions,” Weeks said in his plea to the judge for a maximum sentence.

District attorney Jeff Mitchell said, “This was senseless and tragic act of violence that forever affected the lives of five people.”

He noted at the sentencing hearing that the defendant claimed he didn’t want people on the mountain out of concern for their safety, due to the terrain and snakes.

He asked, “If that was the case, why did he end up shooting somebody?”

Mitchell said the plea agreement represents all five victims, and he asked the judge to give the top end of the standard range for sentencing.

For the felony count of aggravated assault against McClaine, Judge Shurtleff sentenced Wright to 60-120 months in state prison along with $4,039.96 in restitution.

On each of four misdemeanor counts of reckless endangerment, the judge sentenced Wright to 12-24 months in state prison, all to be served consecutively.

Mitchell noted afterwards, “I hope that today’s sentencing will bring closure for the victims and that they will continue to heal.”

Other sentencings Wednesday include:

Leroy James Adams Jr. , 48, of Tunkhannock, was sentenced to a $100 fine and 30-238 days in county jail for firearms not to be carried without a license on Oct. 1, 2012.

Larry Richard Belcher, 25, of Tunkhannock, was sentenced to a $500 fine and 12 months probation for criminal conspiracy to commit retail theft on Jan. 29.

Christina Lynn Birchard, 31, of Nicholson, was sentenced to a $500 fine and 14-60 months in state prison for criminal conspiracy to possess a controlled substance with intent to deliver on Aug. 23, 2012.

Timothy Joseph Blood, 42, of Wyalusing, was sentenced to a $1,000 fine and 72 hours-6 months in county jail for DUI on June 9,2011.

Leonard Roy Buraczewski, 35, of Falls, was sentenced to a $1,000 fine and 10 days-6 months in county jail for DUI on June 9, 2012.

Leon Ronald Robert Crosby, 25, of Scranton, was sentenced to a $100 fine, and 6-12 months in county jail for criminal conspiracy to commit theft by unlawful taking on  Dec. 1, 2012.

Thomas William Docalavich, 29, of Tunkhannock, was sentenced to a $500 fine and 7 days-12 months in county jail for arson on May 30.

Jacob Richard Eyet, 24, of Tunkhannock, was sentenced to $!,408.51 in restitution and 6-23.5 months in county jail for criminal trespass on June 8.

Kevin C. Hayden, 32, of Scranton, was sentenced to a $500 fine and 50 days-12 months in county jail for criminal trespass on Jan. 7.

Branden Scott Johnson, 25, of Wyalusing, was sentenced to a $1,000 fine and 72 hours-6 months in county jail for DUI on Jan. 4, 2012; and to a $1,000 fine and 30 days-6 months in county jail  for DUI on June 16, 2012; with terms to be served consecutively.

Pail Michael Lokey, 47, of Elizabethtown, was sentenced to a $1,500 fine and 48 hours-6 months in county jail for DUI on April 6, 2013.

Ryan Matthew Maginley, 28, of South Montrose, was sentenced to a $%500 fine, $106.80 restitution and 9-24 months in state prison for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, on Jan. 29.

Dustin Roy McCarty, 25, of Harveys Lake, was sentenced to a $500 fine and 4-12 months in county jail for retail theft on Jan. 14.

Lindsay Sue Millard, 23, of Laceyville, was sentenced to a $500 fine and 67-134 days in county jail for DUI on Oct, 27, 2012; to a $500 fine and 16-36 months in state prison for receiving stolen property on May 2; and to $1,200 restitution and 3-12 months in state prison for forgery on April 23. Her sentence was suspended as she enters into two years of Drug Treatment Court.

Holly Ann Milliron, 24, of Leesport, was sentenced to a $500 fine, $1,003.90 in restitution and 4-12 months in county jail for theft by unlawful taking on April 9.

Gina Marie Paglianite was sentenced to a $1,000 fine and 48 days to 18 months in county jail for criminal conspiracy to commit retail theft on July 12, 2012.

James Melvin Ramey, 55, of Springville, was sentenced to a $500 fine and 6-12 months in county jail for criminal conspiracy to commit retail theft on Feb. 18.

Philip Frederick Shebby, 50, of Factoryville, was sentenced to a $300 fine and 6 months probation for DUI on Sept. 21, 2012.

John Douglas Shefler, 45, of Monroe, was sentenced to a $500 fine, $1,626.86 restitution and 12 months probation for simple assault on Sept. 2, 2012; and to a $500 fine and 12 months probation for harassment on Sept. 2, 2012; with sentences to be served concurrently.

Bryan Christian Smith, 22, of Chester, was sentenced to a $500 fine and 104 days-12 months in county jail for tattooing a minor on Feb. 27; and to a $300 fine and 10-21 days in county jail for possession of a small amount of marijuana on April 15.

George Stojanovich, 32, of Scott Twp., was sentenced to a $1,500 fine and 72 hours-6 months in county jail for DUI on Dec. 6, 2012.

*Timothy Michael Taylor, 25, of Tunkhannock, was sentenced to – for theft by deception on March 16, 2012.

Debbie Lee Walker, 51, of Wyalusing, was sentenced to a $500 fine and 48 hours-6 months in county jail for DUI on Nov. 12, 2012.

Owanda M. Zimmerman, 41, of Elmira,N.Y., was sentenced to a $500 fin, $200 restitution and 14-60 months in state prison for conspiracy to pssess with intent to deliver on Aug. 23, 2012.

CONTINUED

Richard Leroy Schultz Jr., 29, of Nicholson, was supposed to be sentenced for possession of a controled substance on April 1. His case was continued to Oct. 9.

BENCH WARRANT

Thomas Edward Kormis, 56, of Mountaintop, was supposed to be sentenced for DUI, second offense, on Oct. 13, 2012. He did not appear and Judge Shurtleff issued a bench warrant for his arrest.

DELAYED

James Sean Skaluba, 31, of Mehoopany, was supposed to be sentenced for theft by unlawful taking on Jan. 20. However, a random drug test revealed opiates, marijuana and oxicodone in his system, and his sentencing date was continued.