The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

July 7, 2014

Plea leads to chaotic courtroom

— SUNBURY — In a chaotic courtroom scene, Northumberland County Judge Charles Saylor refused a plea agreement and sentenced Aaron W. Rothermel to a state prison term of nine months to five years for driving while under the influence of marijuana in a crash that killed an 18-year old Trevorton man in 2013.

During her first day on the job, District Attorney Ann Targonski was forced to make an appearance in the courtroom after the family of Jared Wood, a 2012 graduate of Line Mountain High School, loudly questioned the plea agreement approved by her office.

“We knew nothing about the sentencing,” said David Wood, Jared Wood’s father, after learning that Rothermel, 22, of Trevorton, was set to receive a 9- to 23-month county prison sentence after pleading guilty to homicide by vehicle.

“My emotions may have got the best of me, but we had no communication about what this sentence would be and no one ever told us about this agreement.”

During the discussions, Saylor took a recess to review the materials.

David Wood was visibly upset and told Targonski that he was not satisfied that a plea agreement was reached without the consent of the family.

Targonski asked what sentence would be sufficient, and Wood responded, “the same amount of years my son was alive.”

Saylor returned from the recess and found Targonski handling the case.

Targonski addressed Saylor and informed him of David Wood’s wishes, but said the grieving father knew that sentence was not possible.

Invited to address the court, David Wood said: “I came to speak directly to Aaron Rothermel. No decision made here today will make a difference. You (Rothermel) are just a murderer in a different form.”

“I am so so, so sorry,” a tearful Rothermel said while addressing the court. “I never intended for this to happen.”

David Wood left the courtroom during Rothermel’s remarks.

Northumberland County Chief Public Defender Ed Greco, who represented Rothermel, told Saylor that after reviewing an evaluation of his client he believed Rothermel was taking responsibility for the crash and was very remorseful for his actions.

Saylor didn’t buy it.

The January 2013 fatal accident claimed Jared Wood’s life and Rothermel was charged a year later.

Police said Rothermel had marijuana in his system on Jan. 19, 2013, the day Jared Wood was killed. He was traveling about 50-miles-per-hour when his 1998 Nissan Sentra slammed into a tree on Schwaben Creek Rd., in Upper Mahanoy Township, police said.

Rothermel and another passenger, a 17-year-old Trevorton male who was not identified by police, escaped injury.

None of the occupants was wearing a seat belt, police said.

“You took everything away from me with your reckless actions,” Jared Wood’s mother, Heidi Whitley, said Monday as she addressed Rothermel in court. “I no longer have happiness. I have nothing left.”

E-mail comments to fscarcella@dailyitem.com.

1
Text Only
News
  • CORBETT_TomC.jpg Corbett: VanKirk helped to save the world

    Gov. Tom Corbett today issued the following statement on the death of Northumberland County native Theodore “Dutch” VanKirk, the last surviving crew member of the Enola Gay:

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Afraid of grandson? "Now I am," Amanda Trometter says

    Erick Trometter slept with hunting and butcher knives beside his bed while living with the grandmother he allegedly attacked on the morning he was shot after allegedly pulling a knife on a city police officer.

    July 30, 2014

  • vk1.jpg Ted VanKirk: Seen from above

    The Daily Item is republishing online its spring 2012 interview with Northumberland native Ted “Dutch” VanKirk, the navigator of the Enola Gay, which dropped the first of two atomic bombs on Japan in 1945. The story appeared in Inside Pennsylvania magazine. VanKirk died Monday in Georgia at age 93.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • vankirk_ted1.jpg “The Japanese were beaten before we even dropped the bomb”

    Compared to the 58 other missions they ran together, the one they were assigned to carry out on Aug. 6, 1945 was easy.
    There would be no return fire, flying conditions were ideal, and if all went according to plan, they would be back to the base in Tinian by nightfall.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Ritz-Craft Ritz-Craft to hire 60 for Mifflinburg plant

    MIFFLINBURG — Sixty jobs are coming to Mifflinburg as a Ritz-Craft production facility that went dark seven years ago amid the housing downturn will come back on line during the next few months, company officials announced Tuesday.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Selinsgrove man dies when tractor flips in Chapman Township

    PORT TREVORTON — A 57-year-old Selinsgrove man died Tuesday evening when the farm tractor he was driving overturned and pinned him beneath it, according to Snyder County Coroner Bruce Hummel.

    July 29, 2014

  • VanKirk 'Real hero' of World War II dies

    ATLANTA, Ga. — Theodore “Dutch” VanKirk, the last surviving crew member of the Enola Gay, which dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, died Monday of natural causes in the retirement home where he lived in Georgia. He was 93.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mayor: Rental ban for drug dealers a success

    SUNBURY — A controversial landlord-tenant ordinance passed by the City Council in 2012 has become one of Sunbury’s “better success stories,” Mayor David Persing said Tuesday.

    July 29, 2014

  • Mom cited for allegedly leaving baby in car for 12 minutes

    LEWISBURG — A summary citation carrying a maximum fine of $127.50 was filed Tuesday against a Lewisburg woman accused of leaving her 10-month-old baby unattended for 12 minutes in a car in Union County on July 21.

    July 29, 2014

  • Line Mountain district, teachers $1.2M apart in contract talks

    MANDATA — Separate proposals from the Line Mountain School District and its teachers union are $1.2 million apart and not getting any closer, according to Benjamin L. Pratt, the district’s labor counsel at the CGA Law Firm.

    July 29, 2014

The Daily Marquee
Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.