OldArchive / District Justices

Tim Clark, Towanda


Jeffrey Butler, 42, Stanford, KY, faces charges of highest-rate DUI, reckless and careless driving, and failure to report a collision, stemming from incidents reported on Aug. 6. A Towanda borough police officer was alerted by state police at about 6 p.m. that a woman who had allegedly witnessed Butler driving erratically and at high speeds from the north into the borough had just contacted them. As the borough patrolman headed out, he received a call from the same woman stating the vehicle in question was now parked on Ward Avenue at Third Street. When the officer arrived at the site, the witness pulled up to him and identified herself and related that she had seen Butler crash into a guardrail across from the Towanda Fire Department on Plank Road, leaving a piece of his car at the scene. The woman reportedly also saw Butler hit a curb and narrowly miss a parked car before he finally brought his own truck to a rest three feet from the curb in front of his Third Street residence, which once served as the parsonage for St. Agnes School and church. The witness described the man whom she had seen driving the truck, which was registered to Butler via Kentucky. The officer gained permission to enter the home from an unnamed man who answered the door. Butler was found upstairs in bed, possibly pretending to sleep. A fishing license next to him bore his name. The patrolman shook Butler’s foot and told him to wake up to talk to police about colliding with the guardrail on Plank Road. Butler reportedly said several times, “I did it. You got me,” and “take me then.” The report indicates that Butler cooperated with the officer, even though many of his comments were laced with profanity. The patrolman insisted that Butler perform field sobriety tests in the living room of the home, which he subsequently failed and didn’t appear to be taking the tests seriously. (He had already told the police officer that he had bad knees and didn’t want to take the tests). By the time the patrolman was ready to transport Butler to Towanda Memorial Hospital, the defendant questioned the drawn-out process as per his personal opinion that he had been cooperative and hadn’t harmed anyone else. When the officer explained to Butler that his actions had posed a danger to the public, Butler reported blurted out, “I’m supporting Anheuser Busch.” Four empty cans of Bud Light beer were found in the cab of the truck. Butler’s blood test indicated a BAC of .297, and he faces a Sept. 21 preliminary hearing.

Joshua Joseph Daugherty, 20, Sayre, faces charges of driving under the influence of bath salts and synthetic marijuana on March 16, in addition to related traffic offenses. State police reportedly responded to a call about a “dangerously erratic” driver headed southbound on Route 220 through Ulster Township toward the village of Ulster. Numerous drivers phoned in the same complaint of being forced off the road by a white Dodge Avenger driven by Daugherty, who was stopped at about 9:05 a.m. by two other officers, who apparently found Daugherty to be “visibly highly impaired” and upset. A copper colored pipe used for smoking and inhaling drugs was found in clear view of the officers. When Daugherty was asked to produce his registration and insurance cards, he allegedly handed the police a cellophane wrapper with a white residue on it and a torn Army recruiting card instead. He denied being sick or needing an ambulance, but he was transported to Towanda Memorial Hospital, where his blood was drawn for chemical testing. Daugherty reportedly admitted to having used K2 and bath salts, the latter of which was confirmed via the testing results. A preliminary hearing has been set for Sept. 28.

Mark Scott Edsell, 45, Stevens Township, faces charges for high-rate DUI and unsafe driving after he allegedly crossed the fog lines and was seen weaving in the area of the Ulster river bridge. Edsell reportedly admitted to drinking and said that he was on his way home. After failing field sobriety tests, Edsell was taken to Towanda Memorial Hospital, where blood was drawn that indicated a BAC of .170. He now faces a Sept. 28 preliminary hearing.

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