By Jonathan Weaver
An Adrian man wanted for a downtown Kittanning robbery in March pled guilty to that and a drug possession charge he was arrested for that month.
During a traffic stop conducted by Officers Greg Koprivnak and Joe Riskosky Friday, March 14, officers observed Aaron Doyle, 28 of Homer City, attempting to switch seats with licensed driver Brandon Shaffer, 29 of Adrian, but also saw a syringe and empty stamp bags of suspected heroin in the drivers’ side door compartment.
Continued search of the vehicle revealed additional drug paraphernalia, more than $3,600 in cash and three bricks of heroin.
During further interviews at the Borough police department on South McKean Street, Officer Eric Baum noted Shaffer’s demeanor and clothing matched a description and video footage of an attempted armed robbery suspect at the Honey Bear convenience store Sunday March 9.
Shaffer confessed to the crime.
Before Judge James Panchik, Shaffer said he could not go through with the crime for fear that he would be caught.
Because of no previous record, Assistant District Attorney Kathleen Charlton said the District Attorney’s office recommended six months to two years as a sentence.
However, due to the drug charges, Shaffer was recommended to spend several more years in the Armstrong County Jail.
The only felony charge in the second case was manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver a substance Shaffer said was bricks of heroin.
He also admitted guilt with intent to use cocaine found in the vehicle during the traffic stop.
Both Doyle and Shaffer were arraigned by District Magisterial Judge James Andring are charged with felony counts of possession of the drug with intent to deliver and misdemeanor use/possession of drug paraphernalia.
Doyle has not yet made any plea toward the charges against him, which also include three counts of misdemeanor possession and summary driving without a license.
Due to the attempted armed robbery, Shaffer was charged with felony robbery with the intent to injure another, recklessly endangering another person and disorderly conduct. Shaffer is also suspected of trying to sell the controlled substance without a label – a misdemeanor offense.
Sentencing has not yet been scheduled.
At least a few defendants who were on-schedule to plea to charges were missing during the last proceedings, including that of Daniel L. Wood, III. of Dallas, Oregon.
Wood was arrested by Kittanning Borough Police in March 2011 and charged with more than a dozen misdemeanor and felony crimes – including felony burglary, felony criminal trespass and several misdemeanor charges of theft from a motor vehicle or receiving stolen property.
Wood was originally released on his own recognizance by District Magisterial Judge James Owen a month after he was arrested, but several bench warrants have since been issued for his arrest.
Attorney Yost updated Judge Panchik that Wood was incarcerated in the state of Florida and has since been released into the custody of his grandparents in Oregon.
Assistant District Attorney Charlton did not object to continuing the case, but requested the bench warrant remain.