Guilty plea proceeding in Shamokin fire case postponed again
SUNBURY - A 51-year-old Shamokin man charged in connection with a Jan. 24 fire at a vacant structure had his guilty plea proceeding postponed once again Monday morning in Northumberland County court.
Kevin Kish, of 704 N. Shamokin St., Apt. 1, was granted the continuance by Northumberland County Judge William H. Wiest at the request of his attorney Susan Schwartz, who serves as special conflicts counselor for the county.
The guilty plea has not yet been rescheduled.
Schwartz and assistant district attorney Michael Toomey, who did not object to the continuance, said a plea agreement is still being negotiated. Kish told The News-Item Monday at the courthouse that authorities are trying to charge him with additional offenses, while his attorney is attempting to have the burglary charge dismissed.
Kish, who remains free on $5,000 unsecured bail, was charged by Shamokin Patrolman and Fire Investigator Raymond Siko II with criminal mischief, criminal trespass and burglary relating to a fire at a vacant building at 725 N. Shamokin St., Shamokin, which is located across the street from his apartment. He was not charged with arson because he allegedly didn't intentionally set the fire, which was ignited by a lit cigarette, police said.
In March, Kish waived his right to a preliminary hearing on the charges before Magisterial District Judge John Gembic III with the intention of pleading guilty in the Court of Common Pleas. But his guilty plea has been rescheduled multiple times since then.