Cowanshannock woman's plea for entry into probationary program rejected
A 23-year-old Cowanshannock woman accused of serving alcohol to minors who later died in a car crash is facing prosecution because a judge rejected a motion that would have allowed her to enter into a probationary program.
Karly Ann Good appeared in a hearing before Armstrong County Judge James Panchik on Thursday seeking Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition — a program that allows first offenders charged with misdemeanors the chance to avoid trial and have their records cleared after completing a probationary program.
Good is charged with a misdemeanor count of selling alcohol to minors and has no previous criminal record.
“There are occasions when that is appropriate,” Panchik said about ARD. “This court can't divorce itself from the consequence. The fact that these three children perished — it's inappropriate to place you in ARD. For this reason, the motion is denied.”
The judge's ruling was made after hearing from parents of two of the victims in the crash who Good is accused of serving alcohol to when she was a bartender at the Final Score Saloon on Route 85 in Dayton on May 4, 2013.
Sandra Titus, the mother of Sean Titus, wiped away tears as she took the stand.
“She shouldn't get ARD,” the Kittanning mother said. “They aren't here right now because she served them and knew they were underage.”
Her son, Sean, 20, was the driver in the crash that killed him and passengers Cody A. Brink-Douglas, 19, and Zane McMillen, 19. Police reports said he lost control of the pickup truck and crashed into a pond in Indiana County after leaving the bar.
Good, who was dressed in black, appeared stoic as McMillen's mother, Amanda Smith, wept while addressing the court.
“As hard as it is for me — in that I don't have my son,” she said, pausing to control her trembling voice. “I understand that at that age, they don't think. And Karly made a huge mistake. I feel that ARD is appropriate.”
Good's attorney, Ronald E. Valasek, said outside the courtroom that he was shocked at the judge's ruling. A court official said the next step in the legal process would be for Good to go to trial or agree to plead guilty to the charge.
“We will be looking at all the alternatives before we proceed,” Valasek said.
Brigid Beatty is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-543-1303 or firstname.lastname@example.org.