Elysburg area man guilty of burglary
POTTSVILLE - A Northumberland County man faces state prison time after being convicted Monday in Schuylkill County Court of breaking into a Shenandoah home in May.
Dale R. Heintzelman, 35, of Bear Gap, Elysburg, said nothing as the jury found him guilty of burglary, criminal trespass, theft, receiving stolen property and loitering and prowling at nighttime. The jury of seven men and five women deliberated about two hours before reaching its verdict.
Judge John E. Domalakes, who presided over Heintzelman's one-day trial, found him guilty of a summary charge of criminal mischief, ordered preparation of a presentence investigation and scheduled the defendant's sentencing for 9:30 a.m. April 2.
Domalakes also increased Heintzelman's bail from $5,000 unsecured to $10,000 percentage, which requires him to post $1,000 cash in order to be released pending further court proceedings. Heintzelman failed to post the money and was handcuffed and led to prison.
Shenandoah police charged Heintzelman with breaking into 15-17 S. Catherine St. about 2:15 a.m. May 5, and taking $285 in currency, miscellaneous coins and six DVDs.
"'You got me,' " was what Heintzelman said as he left the house, Frackville police Patrolman Christopher Hand, who had been called in to assist Shenandoah officers, testified.
Shenandoah Patrolman Michael O'Neill said Heintzelman still was in the house when he entered it.
"I could hear footsteps on the second floor," O'Neill testified.
O'Neill said he found the coins, currency and DVDs on Heintzelman when he search the defendant.
Heintzelman testified he went in the house just to get out of the rain, and had no intention of taking anything but was curious and did not deny pocketing the items once he was in the building.
"I thought the place was abandoned," he said.
Assistant Public Defender Kent D. Watkins, Heintzelman's lawyer, said in his closing argument that his client was not guilty of burglary and criminal trespass because of that lack of intent.
"He's not on a burglary-stealing binge," Watkins said. "The proof is not there."
Assistant District Attorney Douglas J. Taglieri said quite the opposite in his closing argument.
"The defendant's testimony, as to his intent, is nonsense," Taglieri said. "He took his time there. He was gathering what he could, he was caught red-handed."