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MERCER COUNTY Jail term mandated in fatal car accident



Published: Fri, April 5, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



A Fredonia man goes to jail for assaulting a Pennsylvania State Police trooper.

MERCER, Pa. -- A Grove City man will serve concurrent jail terms and pay thousands of dollars in restitution for a traffic accident that killed a person and injured two others.

John Shaffer, 24, of Barkeyville Road, was sentenced Thursday to six to 18 months for causing a traffic death and three to 18 months for causing serious bodily harm while driving under suspension. Both counts are felonies.

Judge Thomas Dobson of Mercer County Common Pleas Court also ordered him to pay $22,352 restitution to Renee Snyder, one of the passengers, and $4,831 to her family. He also was fined $200 for driving during suspension.

The accident Sept. 3, 1999, killed Chad Miller, 17, of Grove City.

Pennsylvania State Police reports said Miller, Snyder and Todd Semple were all passengers in Shaffer's car. As he drove south on Cranberry Road, Pine Township, at excessive speed, he swerved to the left at the intersection of George Junior Road to avoid another vehicle.

He lost control of the car and slid off the pavement. His car struck a tree stump, flipped, rolled and slammed into a tree, landing on its roof.

Miller was killed on impact.

Others who appeared in court and the disposition of their cases were:

UCharles Brady III, 30, of Delaware Street, Fredonia, sentenced to concurrent 21-to-42-month prison terms for two felony counts of aggravated assault. While being arrested at United Community Hospital in Grove City May 24, 2001, Brady threatened to kill a state police officer, was physically combative and spit on him.

He also threatened emergency room personnel, was physically combative and tried to bite and strike them. The judge ordered him to pay costs and restitution for resisting arrest.

UEmily Bruce, 40, of Emerson Avenue, Farrell, sentenced to six to 18 months for retail theft for stealing an $18 surge protector March 23, 2000, from the Lowe's store in Hermitage. The theft is a felony because it is her sixth offense. Bruce had been placed on seven years' probation last April for the theft, but she was resentenced after she admitted in February violating her probation terms by leaving her approved residence in Erie and moving to Mercer County. She was given 118 days' credit for time served.

UOmar Harrison, 31, of Emerson Avenue, Farrell, sentenced to three to 18 months in jail for making terroristic threats, a misdemeanor. He will be eligible for house arrest.

Harrison went to the home of his estranged wife on Oct. 16, 2001, forcibly entered the residence, then displayed a 9 mm handgun in front of several people there.

UMark Morris, 38, of Grant Street, Sharon, placed on 18 months' probation, fined $1,000 and ordered to perform 25 hours of community service for an Oct. 11, 2001, episode in which he threw his daughter's 4-week-old kitten against a chair.

The animal went into convulsions and died. The incident took place during an argument between Morris and his wife at a Lafayette Avenue home in Sharon.

UGary Morton, 29, formerly of Sharon and now of the State Correctional Institute at Camp Hill, sentenced to 27 to 54 months in prison consecutive to his current term for felony burglary, for entering a North Oakland Avenue home in Sharon on Aug. 14.

UThomas Reiter, 23, of South Myers Avenue, Sharon, placed on 18 months' probation and ordered to perform 250 hours of community service and pay restitution for selling 55.3 grams of marijuana.




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