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NEW CASTLE Man gets jail sentence, probation in plea deal



Published: Sat, February 16, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- A New Castle man pleaded guilty to recklessly endangering another person in exchange for prosecutors' dropping several other charges.

Shontee Latham, 28, of Forrest Street entered his plea Wednesday before Judge Dominick Motto in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court.

He was immediately sentenced, said District Attorney Matthew Mangino.

Latham will serve nine months to two years in state prison, followed by two years' probation in Lawrence County, Mangino said.

As part of the plea agreement, charges of criminal attempted homicide, simple assault, carrying a firearm without a license and two counts each of aggravated assault were dropped.

A trial in the matter had started Monday, and the victim, Desmond Whetzel, testified in court before Latham agreed to the plea, Mangino said.

The district attorney said Whetzel was satisfied with the plea arrangement.

The victim was shot in the right side of his pelvis and right hip and then kicked in the head on July 15 near the Bolinger Playground.

Police had said they believed the shooting was the result of a fight between the two men a few days earlier at the Elks Club on Home Street.




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