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Court briefs

First Posted: 8:48 am - June 25th, 2015

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First Posted: 8/8/2013

WILKES-BARRE — The state Supreme Court has denied a request for an appeal of a ruling that denied the renewal of the former White House Cafe’s liquor license.

Lisa and Lou Ruzzi, owners of the closed tavern, were seeking to overturn an April 2012 ruling by the a three-member panel of the state’s Commonwealth Court that upheld the denial of the license based on the state’s nuisance bar law.

The tavern and restaurant, located at 198 Hazle Ave., had been plagued by numerous incidents over the years, including fatal shootings that occurred outside the premises in 2006 and 2007.

The Ruzzis closed the bar in October 2007 but continued to fight the Liquor Control Board’s 2007 decision to deny renewal of the liquor license — a ruling that would preclude them from selling the license or transferring it to another location.

WILKES-BARRE — A Luzerne County judge rescheduled a hearing Thursday for Cody Lee, who is accused of shooting to death his great-grandfather.

Lee, 19, is charged in the December 2009 death of Herbert Lee.

Attorneys in the case met Thursday, but no hearing was held. Judge Joseph Sklarosky Jr. rescheduled the matter until Wednesday.

Lee’s attorneys, Peter Paul Olszewski Jr., Melissa Scartelli and Charles Rado, had requested that their client be brought to the courthouse in advance of the 1 p.m. hearing so that Lee could discuss matters with his attorneys and his father, Scott Lee.

Meetings between Lee and his attorneys as well as meetings with just attorneys delayed the hearing, before the courtroom was notified of the continuance.

Several members of the Lee family were present in court.

WILKES-BARRE — A Jenkins Township man who pleaded guilty to causing a crash that killed two people in September has filed court papers outlining why he is appealing his 6 1/2-to-25-year prison sentence.

Attorney Robert Buttner filed the court papers Thursday on behalf of his client, Walter Raven, 60.

Raven pleaded guilty in June to two counts of accidents involving death for the crash that claimed the lives of motorcycle riders Donnie Pizano, 38, and Robin Walsh, 39, both of Plains Township, on Sept. 2.

Pittston Township police said Raven drove a Buick into the path of a motorcycle operated by Pizano on state Route 315. Walsh was a passenger on the motorcycle.

Prosecutors alleged Raven failed to stop.

Court paper say Raven is appealing his sentence because the sentencing judge, Michael Vough, did not merge counts together during sentencing and failed to consider several criteria in the sentencing, including Raven’s rehabilitative needs.

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