Carbon County Court - Guilty pleas
A Luzerne County man pleaded guilty Monday afternoon in Carbon County court to a charge of fleeing or attempting to elude police.
He was one of three defendants in pending criminal cases to enter a guilty plea before President Judge Roger N. Nanovic II.
Christopher R. Demarchis, 27, of Wilkes-Barre, was arrested on May 2 by state police at the Pocono barracks along the northeast extension of the turnpike.
Troopers attempted to stop him for speeding in a construction zone, going 72 mph in a 55 zone. Demarchis fled the officers and a chase that covered about 17 miles ensued. During the chase, Demarchis’ vehicle almost struck a second state police cruiser that was assisting. He was finally stopped after a third trooper put down a nail strip, which flattened one of Demarchis’ front tires.
Demarchis was scheduled to be placed in the county’s Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition probation program, but after Nanovic met with attorney Andrew T. Bench, of the public defender’s office, and Assistant District Attorney Brian B. Gazo, he changed his mind and entered the guilty plea.
Demarchis told Nanovic he fled because “he was having a bad day.” Nanovic said no “bad day” justified what he did in the case.
Nanovic placed him on probation for a year and ordered he pay a fine of $500 and get a drug and alcohol evaluation and follow any recommendation for treatment.
Peter Alexander Stefanide, 24, of Landenberg, Chester County, pleaded to one count of resisting arrest.
He was arrested on June 8 when state police at Fern Ridge responded to a residence along North Shore Drive in Penn Forest Township for a reported domestic incident. On scene it was learned that Stefanide was involved in the dispute. When troopers attempted to take him into custody he resisted, and troopers had to use substantial force to take him into custody. During the struggle he assaulted one of the troopers. In exchange for the plea, a charge of aggravated assault was dropped by the district attorney’s office.
Stefanide told Nanovic he was visiting the area for a family affair and said it was a mixture of “alcohol and drugs” that caused his actions.
He said “It was a family vacation that went wrong.”
Nanovic placed him on probation for 18 months and ordered he get a drug and alcohol evaluation and follow any recommendation for treatment.
Samuel Rice, 20, of Gilbert, pleaded to one count of retail theft. He was arrested on Dec. 11, 2018, by Mahoning Township police at the Walmart store. The items taken have been recovered.
Nanovic placed him on probation for a year and ordered he get a drug and alcohol evaluation and follow any recommendation for treatment.
Each defendant must also pay court costs of about $1,000 and a $50 per month supervision fee while on probation or parole.