The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

March 13, 2009

Judge blasts court giggler

DANVILLE -- A young woman awaiting sentencing for lying to police about a Danville drug death received a tongue-lashing from the judge Thursday as she sat at the rear of the courtroom giggling with friends while watching other proceedings.

Shana Reichenbach, 21, of Millville, was scolded by President Judge Scott W. Naus in Montour County court for her behavior throughout the morning before being sentenced in a May 16 incident that involved the death of Jay Doebler, who was found dead on the porch of a Danville home.

Reichenbach and Debra Madara told police they found Doebler on Madara's porch at 308 E. Mahoning St., but Reichenbach later admitted they found him in an upstairs bathroom and placed him outside before he died.

Medical examiners said Doebler, 22, died of a drug overdose and had twice the legal limit of alcohol in his system that night.

"I watched you all morning, giggling and laughing," Naus said. "It's disgraceful and disrespectful. Your whole behavior is discourteous."

This is Reichenbach's first criminal offense.

Before being sentenced, Nikki Doebler, Jay Doebler's aunt, read a letter to Naus because she said she wanted the judge to hear what kind of person her nephew was.

"He struggled with drugs but was not any less of a person," she said, also reminiscing of his younger days playing baseball and football. "He was a person, not just a heroin addict."

Additional members of Jay Doebler's family sat in the back of the court and could be heard crying.

District Attorney Robert Buehner Jr. said a written statement was made by Jay Doebler's mother acknowledging how different life is for the family.

He said the letter stated that Reichenbach misdirected police by lying, but must have felt remorse because of the corrected statements.

Lies given that day caused police numerous difficulties when they needed truthful information to determine who provided the drugs, Buehner said.

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