SUNBURY - Prior to being sentenced to 4 to 8 years in state prison Monday morning for operating a methamphetamine lab two years ago, Jason David Hunsinger apologized to his former Mount Carmel neighbors and the community for his illegal actions that he attributed to drug addiction.

While pleading for a lighter sentence than he received, Hunsinger said, "I apologize for my actions and hurting anyone. My drug addiction led to my actions. It just got out of hand."

The 35-year-old defendant, who told Judge Charles Saylor he has two children and suffers from lupus, said he was trying to get his life straightened out.

In addition to imposing the jail sentence, Saylor ordered Hunsinger to serve five years consecutive probation upon his release from prison and pay a $500 fine, $500 restitution to Cynthia Snyder and $4,355.49 restitution to Tuscarora Wayne Insurance Company.

Saylor said Hunsinger would be eligible for parole after serving 40 months of his minimum 48-month sentence if he successfully completes various programs and displays good behavior during his incarceration.

He was sentenced to serve 18 months to 3 years on possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine and received consecutive sentences of 2 to 4 years and 6 to 12 months on charges of operating a methamphetamine lab and risking a catastrophe, respectively. Saylor also sentenced Hunsinger to 18 months to 3 years on criminal conspiracy to operate a methamphetamine lab that will run concurrent to the other sentences.

Northumberland County special conflicts counsel Susan Schwartz initially wanted to postpone sentencing because of an error in Hunsinger's prior record score that was discovered after the defendant had pleaded guilty to the four felony charges. Schwartz said Hunsinger's prior record was actually a 3 instead of a 5, which could call for a lighter sentence. The defense attorney planned to request a continuance so she could possibly negotiate a better deal for her client with assistant district attorney William Cole, who was off Monday.

But her client insisted on being sentenced Monday because he faced another sentencing Wednesday in Columbia County Court on unrelated charges.

Hunsinger was returned to Northumberland County Prison, where he will await transfer to a state correctional institution.

Co-defendant

Kim L. Metcalf, 31, of 2014 Creek Road, Catawissa, a co-defendant in the case who lived with Hunsinger at 244 S. Beech St., Mount Carmel, when police and other law enforcement agencies raided their residence Aug. 28, 2012, was sentenced Feb. 24 to 1 to 2 years at SCI-Muncy after pleading guilty to criminal conspiracy to operate a methamphetamine lab, criminal conspiracy to possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine and use of drug paraphernalia.

Metcalf, who was given credit for 320 days previously served in prison, also was given one year consecutive probation upon her release from prison and ordered to pay $1,200 in fines and make restitution totaling $4,855.49.

Hunsinger and Metcalf were charged by Mount Carmel police in connection with the raid at their home that led to the discovery of a mobile methamphetamine lab, which prompted police to evacuate neighbors, cordon off a square block area around the residence and request a decontamination zone.