9 years after crime, man sentenced in Paxinos armed robbery
SUNBURY - More than eight years after being involved in an armed robbery at the home of a Paxinos man, Erik J. Harrington was sentenced Monday to 3 to 6 years in a state correctional institution.
Northumberland County President Judge William H. Wiest sentenced the 23-year-old Selinsgrove man, who previously pleaded no contest to felony counts of criminal conspiracy to commit burglary and theft by unlawful taking.
He was sentenced to serve consecutive sentences of 18 to 36 months on each charge and was given credit for 393 days served in prisons in Snyder and Northumberland counties after being apprehended in North Carolina and extradited to Northumberland County. He was initially placed in prison on $100,000 cash bail, which was reduced to $50,000 in May 2012. He was able to post bail through a bondsman and remained free until Monday's sentencing.
Harrington's attorney Peter Campana of Williamsport said his client was only 16 at the time of the July 16, 2005, robbery at the home of 55-year-old James Honecker, who suffers from multiple sclerosis and is confined to a wheelchair.
Campana said Harrington is 90 percent on the road to rehabilitation and pointed out that by entering the plea agreement, his client was saving the commonwealth a lot of time and money.
Harrington told the court he was sorry for committing the robbery.
When asked about the sentence afterward, Campana said, "I think it was fair under the circumstances. He has changed his life around and he realizes the seriousness of the offenses."
Harrington, who had no prior criminal record prior to the robbery, could have faced a maximum prison sentence of 10 years.
Assistant district attorney Michael Seward said the sentence was in accordance with the plea agreement. He added, "There were no surprises."
In addition to jail time, Harrington was ordered to make approximately $6,400 restitution to Honecker and an estimated $2,000 restitution to the Pennsylvania State Police for DNA testing. He also must pay $1,000 in fines and various other costs.
Assistant district attorney Michael Toomey, who prosecuted the case but was unable to attend the sentencing because he was at a trial next door before Judge Charles Saylor, said Honecker agreed to the sentencing guidelines under the plea agreement. Efforts to reach Honecker for comment Monday night were unsuccessful.
Harrington was one of four suspects in the robbery on July 16, 2005. The defendant, Kasey A. Sees, 26, formerly of Sunbury, and two other assailants were accused of entering Honecker's home at 1:30 a.m. and holding him at gunpoint in his living room while threatening to kill him.
Police said the robbers demanded money, ransacked the home and removed 12 rifles and shotguns, knives, ammunition, cash, jewelry, an amplifier and prescription narcotics with a total value of $5,590. Police said the robbers also caused approximately $300 in damage by pulling telephone cords from the wall and damaging two televisions.
Sees was charged by state police at Stonington on Aug. 15, 2006, and eventually pleaded guilty to felony charges of burglary and robbery. He was sentenced to 3 1/3 to 6 2/3 years in state prison and ordered to pay $300 in fines plus costs, make $4,000 restitution to Honecker and pay approximately $8,800 in restitution to Honecker's insurance company.
Sees has since completed his state prison sentence and is free.
The other two alleged assailants were never identified, apprehended or charged.