by Jonathan Weaver
A Pine Township camp was burglarized on Black Friday 2012 – more than a year ago -, but an East Franklin Township man is now punished for the crime.
Jimmy Dean Walker II, now 23, had already pled guilty to criminal trespass at a home on Evergreen Road that evening and returned to hear the sentencing from Armstrong County Judge James Panchik yesterday in open court.
Standing to the left of Court-Appointed Attorney Richard Ames of Kittanning, Walker II told the judge he felt ‘ashamed’ after reading the victim’s impact statement, possibly by victim Clara Main of Apollo.
But, the District Attorney’s office continued with their recommendation of sentence: two years probation.
Judge Panchik said the recommendation was appropriate to fit the crime and followed through with it.
According to the original Affidavit of Probable Cause filed by State Police Troopers, on November 23, 2012, Walker II and three known juveniles arrived at the scene and stole more than $2,000 worth of tools and equipment, as well as damaging a garage door.
An Apollo neighbor was the first person State Police interviewed, and he said that “a lot of banging” was going on at the camp that night – just after a group of juveniles and an adult in a blue truck – presumably Walker II – drove past.
The foursome detached and damaged the garage door of the camp and another juvenile hotwired a dark green John Deer Gator all-terrain vehicle.
Interviewed in 2012 a week after the incident, Walker was driving the blue truck spotted near the camp and the items reported stolen by the victims, including motor oil, small hand tools and washer fluid. Walker at the time related that the items “magically” appeared in his truck that November night and that he couldn’t recall the incident due to drinking a large amount of alcohol.
A Busch beer can was one of the first pieces of evidence State Police took from the scene.
The two juveniles questioned told similar accounts of the evening, and implicated Walker II in both.
Walker must also pay more than $2,000 in costs, fines and restitution – the majority of which going to State Farm Insurance -, perform 30 hours of community service and complete the Back on Track Cognitive Behavior program, along with other penalties.
All other charges – including first-degree felony burglary, two third-degree theft charges and two misdemeanor charges – were not assessed.
Walker is eligible for a reentry plan.
Judge Panchik warned Walker that if sentenced for other offenses in the future, consequences most likely would be more severe due to Walker’s criminal history and would include the possibility of incarceration.
He can file an appeal in Armstrong County within 10 days or to the state Superior Court within 30 days. A post-sentence motion could take up to 150 days.