The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

July 2, 2013

Frat brother pleads guilty to trespass

— LEWISBURG — The second of two Bucknell University students accused of stealing laptop computers, textbooks, cash and assorted items from fellow fraternity brothers in February pleaded guilty to one charge Tuesday in Union County Court, hoping to serve any penalties through probation.

Carter Wells, 21, of Branford, Conn., entered a guilty plea to a felony count of criminal trespass in burglaries Feb. 16 and 17 at rooms of Delta Upsilon Fraternity at Bucknell West Mod 7.

His remaining four felony counts — burglary, receiving stolen property and two counts of conspiracy — would be withdrawn, and he’d serve a sentence through probation.

Representing Wells was attorney Frank Sluzis, of Harrisburg, who said neither his client nor his client’s family would have a comment about the case.

Judge Michael Hudock accepted Wells’ plea, which the court may accept or reject in final sentencing.

That will happen in late August or early September under President Judge Michael Sholley, given some reorganization in the works in the 17th Judicial District. Wells waived having Hudock hand down his final sentence.

Wells had no previous criminal record. The maximum penalty Wells could face is seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine.

Dressed in a suit but looking younger than 21, Wells was nervous but respectful before Hudock. His swearing-in was interrupted, but Wells kept his hand up until Hudock told him he could put it down.

He looked down most of the time unless addressed by Hudock. When asked if he committed the crime for which he was charged, Wells responded, “Yes, sir.”

Wells later met with Union County probation officials, who will prepare a pre-sentence report for the court.

Wells’ co-defendant, Jeffrey Finegan, 21, of Phillipsburg, N.J., pleaded guilty Monday to two felony charges of criminal trespass in exchange for a consecutive sentence of probation. He also appeared before Hudock.

Finegan also had no criminal record, but in this case faced seven felony charges, including another criminal trespass count, three counts of burglary and one count of receiving stolen property. Hudock accepted the plea offering and will hand down Finegan’s sentence within 90 days.

Finegan potentially faces up to 17 years in prison and $40,000 in fines for his role in February burglaries at Bucknell West Mod 10 and Mod 7.

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