Thursday, July 14, 2011

Booze-loving DA Jim Martin gives another drunk driver the break of a lifetime

Let's read between the lines of the always helpful to DA Jim Martin Morning Call "newspaper" account, shall we?

Man admits injuring passenger in drunken crash

Police: Vehicle goes airborne at 100 mph on rural road

By Kevin Amerman, Of The Morning Call "newspaper"

and Bill Villa, Of Lehigh Valley Somebody

A Forks Township man has admitted to speeding and driving recklessly while drunk last summer, causing a crash that seriously injured his passenger, who police say had warned the driver to slow down.

This happened LAST SUMMER? That's a YEAR ago. Why did it take a YEAR to resolve this case?

Joshua L. Share, 25, who police said was driving more than 100 mph down an Upper Macungie road in June 2010 before crashing, pleaded guilty last week to driving drunk with a blood alcohol level at or above .16 percent — twice the legal limit.

Share pleaded guilty LAST WEEK? Why was there a WEEK DELAY in reporting this?

Share also pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts of reckless endangerment and four summary offenses for careless driving, speeding, failing to stop at a stop sign and reckless driving.

The two reckless endangerment charges each carry maximum penalties of two years in prison and the DUI charge could land Share in prison for up to a year.

Five years ... yeah, right ... let's see what Joshua Share really gets.

In return for his pleas, the most serious charge against Share — felony aggravated assault while driving drunk — was dropped.

Dropped? Why? Why wouldn't DA Jim Martin THROW THE BOOK at this drunk driver? Why would DA Jim Martin drop the felony aggravated assault charge? Not confident he could convince a jury?

Despite pleas from passenger Joshua Reinert to slow down, police say Share continued speeding and lost control of his car, striking a pole around 8 p.m. June 12 (LAST YEAR) at Arrowhead Lane and Adams Road. The car flipped several times and Reinert suffered vertebrae fractures in his neck and spine, bruised lungs and knee injuries.

This is exactly how my daughter Sheena was killed in 2006, by a drunk driver going 100 mph and ignoring his passenger's pleas to slow down. It's a miracle Joshua Reinert wasn't killed.

Q. When is DA Jim Martin going to send a message to drunk drivers that Lehigh County is not the place where you want to drive drunk.

A. (hiccup) Never.

According to court records:

Berks-Lehigh Regional police arrived after 8:10 p.m. and found a utility pole that had been knocked over, a car on its roof and Share on the road being tended to by paramedics. Reinert had already been transported to the hospital.

A police officer assisting paramedics smelled alcohol on Share, and police requested blood samples be taken at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest, where Share and Reinert were treated.

Witnesses said Share and Reinert had left a party in the area moments before the crash. Another witness said Share ran the stop sign before crashing.

Reinert was interviewed later and told police he was concerned about Share's speeding and told him to slow down. Reinert said he also warned Share about the stop sign at Adams Road, but Share never slowed down. He told police Share was not familiar with the roads.

A crash investigation determined that Share was heading east on Arrowhead Lane "at speeds in excess of 100 mph" and became airborne just after crossing Adams Road. When the car landed, Share lost control of the car and it slid before striking and shearing off the utility pole. The car then rolled several times before coming to rest in a field.

Test results showed that Share had a 0.16 blood-alcohol content.

FYI, as DA Jim Martin dragged his flat feet on this case, for a YEAR, Joshua Share has very likely been free to keep driving. Yep. Hopefully, he didn't injure anyone else in the past YEAR.

Share was charged on Aug. 21 (OF LAST YEAR) and released on $50,000 unsecured ($0.00) bail that day.

So it took DA Jim Martin over 2 months, 70 days (from June 12 to August 21 of last YEAR) to even charge Joshua Share w/ a crime. And then it took DA Jim Martin a YEAR to get Joshua Share to approve a bargain plea deal. Incredible.

Over in neighboring Northampton County recently, concerned citizens were rightfully clamoring for DA John Morganelli's head because it took him 7 days after a holiday weekend to file much more complex double homicide charges against former cop and alleged double DUI killer John P. Heaney III.

Share is scheduled to be sentenced next month by Lehigh County Senior Judge Lawrence J. Brenner.

Certainly, Morning Call "reporter" Kevin Amerman knows the date and time of the sentencing, but to protect DA Jim Martin, Judge Brenner, and criminal defendant Joshua Share, Amerman didn't report it. I'll get the date and time tomorrow. [Update: It's August 15, 1:30pm, Courtroom 2B]

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