Former Franklin County man sentenced on drug charges

February 21, 2003|by STACEY DANZUSO

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A Harrisonville, Pa., man who did not show up at his sentencing in Franklin County Court despite multiple postponements was sentenced in absentia Wednesday to serve a minimum of nine months in state prison on drug- and alcohol-related charges.

Philip B. Roberts, who lived in Waynesboro, Pa., and Chambersburg at the time of the incidents, previously pleaded guilty to one count of possession of drug paraphernalia and two counts of driving under the influence, according to court records.

"The matter has been scheduled, rescheduled and rescheduled," said defense attorney David Yoder, who said his client called him two weeks ago asking if the sentencing date could be continued again.


"I told him there was no way that was going to happen," Yoder told Judge John Walker.

"He's been given numerous breaks," Walker said, noting that Roberts, 52, previously served state sentences dating back to the 1970s when he lived in Bucks County, Pa.

On the first count of DUI, Walker sentenced Roberts to serve three to 24 months in state prison from the date he is apprehended. He also ordered him to pay a $450 fine.

He next sentenced him to serve three to 12 months in state prison for possession of drug paraphernalia at the expiration of the first sentence. He gave Roberts two days of credit for time served.

On the second count of DUI, Walker again sentenced Roberts to three to 24 months in state prison. That term will begin after he serves the first two sentences.

The charges stem from three incidents in the last two years, including:

  • His March 14, 2001, arrest in Waynesboro for driving under the influence after police stopped him for driving with an invalid registration. Roberts then failed field sobriety tests and recorded a .165 percent blood alcohol concentration, according to the affidavit of probable cause.

  • The Dec. 15, 2001, arrest for possession of drug paraphernalia after police searched his Waynesboro residence and found crack cocaine pipes, the affidavit said.

  • His April 7, 2002, arrest for driving under the influence after police spotted him weaving in and out of his lane of travel on Pa. 316, the affidavit said. Roberts failed a field sobriety test and recorded a blood alcohol concentration of. 16 percent, the affidavit said.
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