TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR AUGUST 31ST, 2022

A Trumbull County Ohio  woman was sentenced in the death of her partner.  Alexandria Morales pleaded guilty in May to charges of aggravated vehicular homicide and OVI in connection with the death of Amanda Markowitz. Markowitz was a corrections officer at the Lawrence County Jail.  Investigators say the women had been drinking at the home of a friend and that Markowitz was standing behind Morales’ car when the woman got inside and put the vehicle in reverse.  Morales has been sentenced to 2 to 3 years in prison.

Governor Tom Wolf is showing support for President Joe Biden’s Safer Communities Act.  He was with the president in Wilkes-Barre Tuesday to celebrate the passage of the comprehensive gun violence prevention package, which was signed into law in June.  The governor says the package includes many priorities that he wants, including hiring more police officers and creating red flag laws, which aim to help keep guns out of the hands of mentally unstable people.

State lawmakers are reportedly set to get a hefty raise next year that could set  them over the 100-thousand-dollar mark.  A law was passed in the 90s that adjusts the pay of state lawmakers and other leaders  based on the U.S. Department of Labor’s Consumer Price Index.  Right now, that stands at eight point eight percent, so officials say that translates to a nearly 84-hundred-dollar raise. That would push the base salary for most lawmakers to nearly 104-thousand-dollars annually.   

A Sharon man has plead guilty in federal court to conspiring to distribute crack cocaine. 27 year old Jeronte Robinson pled guilty before United States District Judge Cathy Bissoon.  Judge Bissoon scheduled sentencing to occur on January 4th of  2023.  Robinson faces a maximum sentence of 20 years and prison and a fine up to one million dollars. A number of local law enforcement offices in Mercer and Lawrence Counties assisted in the investigation.

Governor Tom Wolf wants to legalize the use of recreational marijuana by adults.  The governor said earlier this week that too many Pennsylvanians are locked up for marijuana offenses.  He also claims those who’ve been imprisoned for pot aren’t violent or a threat to their communities.   Governor Wolf has granted 102 pardons in August;  of those, 26 have been for expedited review marijuana cases.

Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman, who’s running for the U.S. Senate, says he’ll call on President Biden to uphold his campaign promise on marijuana reform.  Marijuana Moment dot com says Fetterman plans to raise the issue with the president personally next week when he sees him at a Labor Day parade in Pittsburgh.  The lieutenant governor has pledged to push for the end of federal prohibition for pot if he’s elected to the Senate. 

A fifth lawsuit is in the works in connection with the Fern Hollow Bridge collapse.  Attorney Richard Schubert filed a notice of the litigation yesterday.  Schubert is representing Joseph Engelmeier, whose SUV landed on its side when the structure gave way last January.  The 24-year-old suffered three spinal compression fractures and is affected by PTSD, according to his lawyer.

Prosecutors in Washington County say they plan to seek the death penalty for a man charged in the death of his infant son.  Jordan Clark was arrested in June and is charged with criminal homicide in the death of the two-month-old boy.  Investigators say the boy, who died at UPMC Children’s Hospital in May, had suffered from severe head injuries inconsistent with a story that 36-year-old Jordan Clarke had told police.  Clarke told officers that he had tripped on a grocery bag and fell onto the infant.