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May 11, 2001

Court briefs



Court no-show gets seven-day sentence


CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A Chambersburg man who failed to show up for a court appearance in January was ordered to serve a seven-day sentence Wednesday.

Shawn M. Ott, 20, of 261 Birch St., was picked up May 3 on a bench warrant issued by Franklin County Court of Common Pleas Judge John Walker in January.

The warrant was issued after Ott did not appear for sentencing on charges of harassment, criminal mischief, failure to obtain a permit for fishing and fishing without a license.

The charges stem from separate incidents dating back to February 1999. Ott was fined in each case, but after failing to pay $291.55 in fines and court costs, District Justice Gary Carter in November sentenced him to seven days in the county jail, according to court records.

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Ott appealed the ruling and was to be sentenced by Walker Jan. 29, but he did not show up and a bench warrant was issued, records show.

Ott has been in Franklin County Prison since May 3, and Walker ordered him to serve out the full seven-day sentence Carter imposed. He is expected to be released today.

Pa. man sentenced on assault charges


CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A Waynesboro, Pa., man who threatened two friends with a 10-pound sledgehammer last fall was sentenced to serve from five to 23 months in the county jail and 24 months of intermediate punishment Wednesday.

Hans Peter Klein, 28, of 812 Pine Grove Drive, was charged with aggravated assault and simple assault in the Oct. 13 incident.

Klein's wife, his half-sister, and the wife of one of the victims asked Franklin County Court of Common Pleas Judge John Walker to consider a sentence of probation.

"He knows what he did was wrong. I would rather not see him go to jail for the sake of our son," said Lydia Klein.

She said Klein's actions were triggered by alcohol, and he has undergone treatment and been sober since the incident.

"If someone came after me swinging a 10-pound sledgehammer, I wouldn't feel very kindly toward him," Walker said.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, Klein pointed a loaded shotgun at his wife in their former Mont Alto, Pa., home, and then left with friends Paul A. Frechette, of Zullinger, Pa., and Marty Null, of Waynesboro.

They went to Null's home, where a fight ensued. Klein swung the sledgehammer at Frechette, who dodged it, then went after Null. Klein left and was later picked up by Pennsylvania State Police, who were called about the argument, according to the affidavit.

"What I did was wrong and I am a different person," Klein said. "It was a wake-up call for me, a cry for help."

Walker sentenced Klein to five to 23 months in Franklin County Prison on the aggravated assault charge, which was less than the nine months recommended by the probation department.

Walker gave Klein 10 days credit for time served and made him eligible for the work release program. Walker also ordered 24 months of intermediate punishment, which is an intensely supervised probation, on the simple assault charge.

"It was a nasty incident that night," Walker said. "I went into the mitigated (sentencing) range because you have no prior record and have done well on pre-trial release."

- Stacey Danzuso

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