Woman gets 11 to 23 months in thefts
SUNBURY - A Coal Township woman charged with committing four burglaries with her boyfriend last year was sentenced Monday to 11 to 23 months in Northumberland County Prison, where she has been incarcerated for approximately three months.
Northumberland County President Judge William H. Wiest imposed sentence on Christine Rate, 27, live-in girlfriend of Eric J. Weikel, 33, of 1321 W. Spruce St., after she previously pleaded guilty to a felony offense of criminal conspiracy to commit burglary.
Rate, who has cooperated with authorities in their investigation that led to numerous burglary-related charges being filed against Weikel, was ruled eligible for early release if she continues to behave well in prison. She was given credit by Wiest for three months already served in prison.
Rate, who was represented by public defender Melissa Norton, was charged by Coal Township Detective Jeff Brennan with four felony counts each of burglary, criminal conspiracy and criminal trespass, and three felony counts each of theft and receiving stolen property in connection with burglaries at 1223, 1323, 1326 and 1327 W. Spruce St. between Oct. 1 and Nov. 13.
All the remaining charges were not prosecuted under a plea agreement reached with the district attorney's office.
Weikel, who was scheduled for plea court Monday, had his legal proceeding continued until 9:15 a.m. Monday, April 28, at the request of his attorney John Broda, who serves as county conflicts counsel.
Broda made the request to allow time to consolidate all the cases filed against his client in an effort to reach a plea agreement.
Assistant district attorney William Cole did not oppose the continuance.
Weikel was most recently charged with felonies of burglary, theft, receiving stolen property and criminal trespass.
He is accused of stealing a gold chain valued at $1,000, rings and cash from the residence of his uncle Richard Weikel, of 515 Kulp Ave., on Nov. 8. He also allegedly removed a Dell XPS studio laptop computer, a Sony NDX five-digital camera with two lenses in a black case, jewelry and approximately $1,000 in cash from the bedroom of Weikel's daughter, Steph.
Weikel was previously charged with felonies of burglary and criminal trespass and misdemeanors of theft and receiving stolen property relating to an Oct. 29 incident at the residence of Brent Reed, 1325 W. Spruce St.
He was charged in the same four burglaries Rate was charged with and an Oct. 23 burglary at the home of Michael Robtain, 1354 W. Spruce St., Coal Township, in which he allegedly stole $13,000 in jewelry.
All the charges were filed by Brennan.
Weikel also was previously charged with drug-related offenses filed by Coal Township and Shamokin police.