Man admits he didn’t see shooting

STEVEN WHRITENOUR

BY STACI WILSON

An Oakland Borough man admitted he lied to police about witnessing a shooting outside the Parkview Hotel in May 2011.

Steven Whritenour, 32, appeared in Susquehanna County Court on Friday to plead guilty to hindering prosecution.

Whritenour waived his right to counsel, choosing to represent himself at the hearing.

Already serving five years on drug trafficking charges, Whritenour was sentenced to pay a $750 fine for the charge.

District Attorney Jason Legg said he felt there was no need for additional jail time.

As Jason Aronowitz, of New Milford, was heading to trial in November 2012 on an attempted homicide charge, Whritenour – an inmate at the Susquehanna County Correctional Facility at the time – stepped forward to say he had witnessed Aronowitz and gunshot victim Michael Reid struggle with the weapon before it fired.

In November, Whritenour and Aronowitz were both being represented by the same attorney, Frederick Meagher Jr. in their separate cases.

Meagher had told the district attorney that Whritenour would be presented as a witness during the Aronowitz trial. The shooting case never went to trial with Aronowitz entering a guilty plea to one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

In court Friday, Legg said the investigation into Whritenour’s claim revealed he was not at the Parkview that night and did not witness the shooting. Legg said Whritenour’s wife, Shawna Whritenour, also corroborated the findings of the investigation.

The following people also entered guilty pleas in Susquehanna County Court on Friday morning. Unless otherwise noted, those listed have been scheduled to appear for sentencing hearings on Jan. 24.

Tina Clark, 34, pleaded guilty to a felony charge of attempted retail theft. Clark attempted to take nine DVDs without paying from the Family Dollar in Great Bend Twp. Her record of two prior retail thefts lifted the charge to the felony level, explained District Attorney Jason Legg. She also pleaded guilty to receiving stolen property related to an incident where she knowingly was in possession of three stolen weedeaters.

Anthony Fino, 42, pleaded guilty to DUI in connection with an Aug. 18 incident in Montrose.

Keith Smith, 21, pleaded guilty to statutory sexual assault in connection with incidents in Mar.-Apr. 2012 in which he was involved in a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old juvenile female.

Jessica Lobdell, 23, pleaded guilty in three cases lodged against her. She admitted to a 2010 theft charge where she stole a laptop computer from a Great Bend Twp. residence. She also pleaded guilty to criminal conspiracy – robbery lodged against her in two separate cases. On May 16, 2012, Lobdell and two co-defendants went to the Great Bend Sunoco where one of the accused, Edward Barber brandished a knife in an attempt to rob the convenience store. Barber fled when the clerk refused. Later that same day, Lobdell went with Angelina Wilson to the Pump N Pantry, Great Bend Twp., where Wilson demanded money from the clerk. Lobdell then drove Wilson from the scene to an apartment in Kirkwood, N.Y.

Timothy Conklin pleaded guilty to indecent exposure and entered a no contest plea to a charge of open lewdness in a separate incident. Conklin admitted to exposing his genitals to a 15-year-old juvenile female in the woman’s bathroom of a Herrick Twp. lodge in December 2011. He pleaded no contest to the open lewdness charge which stemmed from a July 2, 2012 incident on the Rails to Trails in Forest City The women reported the incident to Forest City police.

Amanda Woodruff pleaded guilty to receiving stolen property in connection with a Nov. 2011 incident in Susquehanna. Woodruff was sentenced to 18 months probation and was ordered to write a letter of apology to the victims in the case.