Superior Court tosses sentence

Appeals judges:?Woman’s entire sentence was illegal

For the second time in the last two weeks, the Pennsylvania Superior Court has tossed out a sentence in an area criminal case because restitution was not ordered when the sentence was imposed.

The latest instance occurred Friday when a three-judge panel upheld the conviction but vacated the probationary sentence of an employee at a convenience store, EZ Shopper, in Beaverdale, who was convicted of theft by unlawful taking.

The employee, Kathleen J. Van, 75, was allegedly caught on camera playing scratch-off lottery games.

When store owner Daniel Miller closed the business in February 2017, he was notified by the Pennsylvania lottery that he owed $9,458 for the sale of scratch-off lottery tickets.

He also owed $212 for online games.

Investigators reviewed 120 hours of available video taken from store security cameras.

The video, it was contended, showed Van taking one or more instant game tickets without paying for them.

A year ago, Cambria County Judge Norman A. Krumenacker III found Van guilty of theft, but acquitted her of receiving stolen property and retail theft.

In September, he sentenced Van to 84 months’ probation but deferred imposition of restitution.

A restitution hearing wasn’t held in the case until December, and Van was ordered the repay the entire $9,458 that was owed to the state for the scratch-off games.

Restitution, according to the appeals judges, is considered part of the sentence, and because it was not imposed at the time of sentence, it made Van’s entire sentence illegal.

Earlier in July, the Superior Court vacated six sentences imposed in a 21-year-old arson case from Blair County because restitution issues in those cases were never resolved.

That case involved Christopher Michael Rod­land, 44, of Hollidaysburg, who will have to be resentenced on the six charges.