Sunbury man found guilty of DUI in abstentia in Judge Sacavage's final trial
SUNBURY - District Attorney Tony Rosini announced Andres Torruella, 39, of Sunbury, was found guilty following a bench trial before county President Judge Robert B. Sacavage.
Rosini said that the trial was significant in two ways, one that it marked the final trail that Sacavage would hear as president judge, and it was the first trial that both Sacavage and First Assistant District Attorney Ann Targonski have heard in abstentia, meaning the trial proceeded even though the defendant was not present.
"Proof was presented that the defendant has been notified of the time and place of the trail and he failed to appear," Rosini said.
Torruella was convicted of driving under the influence and a number of motor vehicle violations, including failure to obtain a Pennsylvania license after residing in the Commonwealth for over a year. He was sentenced to 30 days to six months in Northumberland County Prison and received a number of fines for the summary violations.
The case was prosecuted by Thomas Leib of the Pennsylvania State Police Barracks at Stonington and Targonski. Rosini commented on the fact that the bulk of the trial preparation was completed by Targonski after regular court hours due to the time constraints being placed on the staff with the pending caseload.
"Ann had to prepare for this trial and organize the evidence during off hours," Rosini said. "The workload, particularly in light of the recent homicide in Sunbury, has made it nearly impossible to prepare during the regular hours. Both Ann and Trooper Leib were dedicated to ensuring justice in this case."
"This trial was also significant as we utilized the technological advances made by Judge Sacavage and had our expert witness testify via video from New Jersey, while simultaneously viewing the video from the state police cruiser's dash camcorder," Targonski said.
A warrant has been issued for Torruella to commence serving his sentence.