Shamokin woman charged in 'stolen car' case
SHAMOKIN - A Shamokin woman has been charged with filing false reports to police following an accident involving a rental car on Feb. 16.
Jennifer Leonard, 43, of 219 S. Shamokin St., was charged Thursday by Shamokin City Police Patrolman Raymond Siko II with making false reports to incriminate another person and making false reports.
Siko said Leonard initially told police the car was stolen, even though she knew her husband, Nathan P. Leonard, 40, had taken it. The officer said Jennifer Leonard reportedly "panicked" after realizing her husband, who has a suspended license, was driving the car.
About five minutes after the car was reported stolen, Nathan Leonard crashed it along Route 2026 between Coal Run and Sagon, but was able to free himself from the wreckage despite suffering head, arm and leg injuries, police said.
A passing motorist gave Nathan Leonard a ride to Marion Heights, where he told the driver to drop him off. Upon reaching the borough, police said Leonard borrowed a cell phone from a concerned citizen and called his wife to pick him up.
He said his wife later drove him to a hospital in Harrisburg, where he underwent emergency room treatment for multiple serious injuries before returning to Shamokin, police said.
At first, Jennifer Leonard denied lying about the stolen car, but later admitted in an interview with police that her initial story was a hoax.
During an interview with Siko Wednesday morning, Nathan Leonard, who admitted using the car in the past, said he took the car at about 12:45 p.m. Saturday and stopped at M&T Bank to withdraw $200. He then drove along Route 61 before turning onto Route 2026. Leonard said he lost control of the car while attempting to throw out a cigarette. Leonard said he recalled the car hitting a pole, causing him to be thrown against the front window. Leonard said he crawled up an embankment and was offered a ride by an elderly man, who dropped him off near the Marion Heights ballfield.
Siko said an employee from State Farm Insurance Company told him Wednesday Jennifer Leonard called the insurance company and initially reported the vehicle was stolen. She called back and claimed her brother-in-law took the vehicle and wrecked it.
Siko said the true facts surrounding the incident were provided to the insurance company and EZ Rent A Car.
The charges against Jennifer Leonard were filed with Magisterial District Judge John Gembic III, of Shamokin. Coal Township Police are currently investigating the accident and are expected to file charges against Nathan Leonard in the near future.