Sunday, July 13, 2014

Local prisoner cites 180-day rule

February 17. 2013 7:55AM
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WILKES-BARRE – A Blakeslee man charged with dragging a Freeland police officer about 100 feet with his truck has asked a judge to release him on nominal bail because it has been more than 180 days since his arrest.

Michael Daniel Mokshefski, 28, filed court papers through his attorney, Peter Quigley, of Stroudsburg, requesting a reduction of his $100,000 bail on two counts each of aggravated assault and simple assault, and one count each of reckless endangerment, fleeing and eluding police, careless driving and reckless driving.

Mokshefski is scheduled to stand trial on the charges on Dec. 3, according to court papers. He is lodged at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility.

State law says a defendant who cannot make bail must be brought to trial within 180 days of arrest or be released on nominal bail, which can be as low as $1.

In court papers filed Thursday, Mokshefski said Aug. 24 would have been 180 days since his arrest, and that he has not delayed bringing the case to trial in any way.

A hearing was scheduled for Oct. 12 for Judge Joseph Sklarosky Jr. to consider the request.

According to court papers, Freeland Police Chief Nadine Sist and officer Matthew Williams were investigating a disturbance involving Mokshefski and three other men on Ridge Street on Feb. 23.

Williams was talking to Mokshefski, who was seated in his idling Jeep Comanche.

Williams told Mokshefski to turn off the Jeep's engine. When Mokshefski refused, Williams reached in to turn off the ignition key.

Mokshefski sped away, dragging Williams until the officer fell and struck his head, state police said. Williams was flown to Geisinger Wyoming Medical Center, Plains Township, where he was treated and released.

Mokshefski was pursued on state Route 940 driving the Jeep erratically toward Blakeslee.

He abandoned the Jeep and ran into a wooded area, state police said.

Mokshefski was apprehended by state troopers from Hazleton, Fern Ridge and Lehighton barracks after a massive search.

Sheena Delazio, a Times Leader staff writer, may be reached at 829-7235.

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