HONESDALE — Joseph Howard, 39, of Lake Ariel was sentenced Thursday to Wayne County Prison for two to 23 months on one count of Simple Assualt, a midemeanor of the 2nd degree. 




The sentencing follows a December 29th, 2007 incident in which his now ex-wife and he were arguing about getting a divorce.  He allegedly accused her of cheating on him, and being frightened by his raised voice, she threatened to call the police and have him thrown in jail.  It was at this time that, according to the report, Howard, who had been drinking all night, ripped the phone out of her hand and struck her with the phone on the head and in the face. 


HONESDALE — Joseph Howard, 39, of Lake Ariel was sentenced Thursday to Wayne County Prison for two to 23 months on one count of Simple Assualt, a midemeanor of the 2nd degree. 


The sentencing follows a December 29th, 2007 incident in which his now ex-wife and he were arguing about getting a divorce.  He allegedly accused her of cheating on him, and being frightened by his raised voice, she threatened to call the police and have him thrown in jail.  It was at this time that, according to the report, Howard, who had been drinking all night, ripped the phone out of her hand and struck her with the phone on the head and in the face. 


Attempting to get away, the victim was thrown to the ground, whereon Howard began to “kick her about the body and head”. 


Howard has one previous domestic violence conviction dating back to 1994 in which he was allegedly trying to silence the same victim by putting his hand over her mouth and “his hands slid around her neck,” Judge Hamill read from the prior report. 


Judge Hamill stated that he was concerned about Howard’s “volatility” when he sentenced him, and also required that he undergo a psychological evaluation and attend anger management classes.


Howard, who works as an audio/visual tech in Moosic, has already served 26 days of his two-month sentence. 


Mother of three pleads guilty
Twenty-six year-old Jessica Smith of Hawley pled guilty on Thursday to one count of Endangering the Welfare of Children, a 3rd degree Felony, and one count of Drug Possession, which is an ungraded felony. 


On March 17th of this year an officer was dispatched to Smith’s home following an anonymous call that Smith had left her three children, all under the age of five, at home alone.  When the officer arrived the five year-old answered the door and told the officer she was the oldest one home and left in charge of her sister and autistic brother.  Upon entering, the officer noticed that the house smelled of burnt marijuana.


According to the police report, “[T]he home was in complete disarray....The stove in the kitchen was on with a chicken cooking....The front door...was unclocked approximately 20 ft. from Route 6....[and a] marijuana bowl was found on the shelf in the dining room...where it was accessible to the children.”  The oldest child told the officer that this incident wasn’t the first time and that Smith had been absent for nearly two hours.


Shortly thereafter, Smith arrived home and the officer noted that she smelled of alcohol. She told him she had been at the bar up the street.


Wayne County Children and Youth services were immediately contacted and reported to the scene, taking custody of the three children.


Smith is set to be sentenced on August 14th, 2008.



Stalking leads to probation
Kenneth Zintel of Carbondale, 33, received 12 months probation on a misdemeanor charge of stalking following a January 22nd incident in which the police were called to his girlfriend’s house by the girlfriend who stated that Zintel was outside the house banging on the windows and door threatening her and refusing to leave until she let him in the house.


The police report relates that earlier that day, Zintel had shown up at the victim’s friend’s house in Carbondale asking for his ring back because the couple had broken up.  After leaving Carbondale, she received several threatening phone calls from Zintel. 


He then showed up at her home where the two argued over the custody of their child.  When the girlfriend told Zintel she wanted him to stop calling and showing up at her house, whereon Zintel claimed that he was going to kill her and then himself.  After that, Zintel left her home but continued calling.


It was when Zintel returned at roughly 4 a.m. that she called 911.


Zintel’s girlfriend related to the police, per the report, that she “was concerned that Zintel was off his medications”. 


He is currently being treated for Bipolar disorder.


In 2006 Zintel was convicted for harrassment, disorderly conduct, and assualt.
In addition to 12 months of probation, he was commanded to undergo mental health treatment with Tri-county Mental Health, which he had already begun before the sentencing.