The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


November 16, 2012

Prison time looms for DUI offender

MIDDLEBURG — A repeat offender with six prior drunken driving convictions pleaded guilty Friday in Snyder County Court to a seventh DUI, reckless endangerment and hit-and-run for crashing into a Salem Road home occupied by five people in October 2011.

Kermit Kratzer, 55, of Kratzer Road, Middleburg, was set to take the case before a jury, but pleaded guilty at the last minute and avoided trial.

District Attorney Michael Piecuch expects Kratzer will receive a 16-month to 42-month state prison sentence when the penalty is imposed within a few months by Senior Judge Louise O. Knight.

While the plea resolves the case, neither Piecuch or Philip and Beth Gesumaria — who were inside their home when Kratzer crashed into their first-floor bedroom on Oct. 1 and left car parts strewn across the room — are pleased with the results.

Though Kratzer has six prior DUI convictions dating back to 1978, the last one took place in 1999. Under state law, penalties for DUIs are enhanced only when they occur within a 10-year period.

“The problem is we have a serial drunk driver who’s treated as if it’s his first offense. By a miracle, he didn’t kill someone,” Piecuch said. “This was his seventh DUI in his lifetime, but his first for sentencing purposes.”

The statutory maximum for a first offense DUI is six months in jail.

The only reason Kratzer’s guilty plea will land him in state prison is because he struck the Gesumaria’s home while she and her husband and three children were inside.

Text Only
  • Budd fundraising run to pass Geisinger

    MILTON — It’s “kickstands up” tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. from LT’s Tavern on Route 405 in Milton where hundreds of motorcycles will take off on a run to raise funds for the Budds, the Ohio family whose matriarch, Sharon, recovers at Geisinger Medical Center from grave injuries suffered in a rock-throwing incident two weeks ago.

    July 25, 2014

  • eyebrows.jpg Coming Sunday: Browsing for brows

    As makeup sales soar, four tips to make your eyebrows raise others'. Coming Sunday

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Attorneys seek $28G more from Line Mountain in wrestling case

    WILLIAMSPORT — The legal fee issue between the Line Mountain School District and the Beattie family, which successfully sued the district to allow seventh-grader Audriana Beattie to participate on the all-male wrestling team, is not over.

    July 24, 2014

  • Driver to police: 'Just shoot me'

    WATSONTOWN — A Turbotville man has been charged with making terroristic threats and disturbing the peace after he allegedly threatened to shoot people in a bar and said he had a weapon.

    July 24, 2014

  • New panel of officers installed by CSIU directors

    MONTANDON — A new executive team was installed at Wednesday night’s Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit meeting, as the terms of the present leadership expired this month. Act 102 of 1970, which first created 29 IUs in Pennsylvania, requires  intermediate unit directors to elect board of director officers annually in July.

    July 24, 2014

  • Geisinger, Highmark deal moving ahead

    DANVILLE — A five-year extension of the contract between Geisinger Health System and Highmark Inc. won’t be affected by a dispute last year over Highmark allegedly undervaluing Geisinger’s health plan and charging certain plan holders more for care at Geisinger facilities.

    July 24, 2014

  • Pickleball players get game on

    SUNBURY — Jan Dockey has been asking the City Council for three months to consider creating a pickleball court.

    July 24, 2014

  • $23 million sweep under way

    After years of finger-pointing and blame, Northumberland County officials have launched an initiative to try to collect $22.8 million in unpaid fines and restitution from what might be 14,000 cases.

    July 24, 2014

  • Mazzeo a finalist for Middletown post

    Former Sunbury police chief Steve Mazzeo is one of three finalists for the same position in a borough about 65 miles away.

    July 24, 2014

  • rundown25zope.jpg Blighted block going bye-bye in Atlas

    Nearly an entire township block in Atlas will be torn down in Mount Carmel Township, utilizing funds from Northumberland County and its Housing Authority in an effort to fight blight. Half of this block is proposed to be developed as low-income senior living units.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

The Daily Marquee

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.