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Greensburg sisters reach plea agreements in methadone case

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Friday, Dec. 16, 2011
 

Two sisters, who Greensburg police said were passed out on methadone in a running van with an infant on the back seat, reached plea agreements with prosecutors on Thursday, according to their attorney.

Jamie Lynn Dickant, 25, who has moved from Greensburg to the Johnstown area, will plead guilty to endangering the welfare of a child, according to her agreement. Her sister, Tonya Louise Dickant, 29, of 36 S. Lincoln Ave., Greensburg, will plead guilty to driving under the influence of a controlled substance or metabolite.

Both appeared yesterday before Greensburg District Judge James Albert for preliminary hearings.

Jamie Dickant's proposed sentence will run concurrent to another sentence she received yesterday from Westmoreland County Judge Rita Hathaway on a guilty plea to a retail theft offense.

In effect, Jamie Dickant will serve three years on probation and one year on electronic monitoring, said attorney Deb Jackson. Dickant will have to take drug-and-alcohol and parenting classes.

Her sister's proposed sentence calls for her to serve 72 hours in the county prison for a first DUI offense, or to be on intermediate punishment for 40 days with electronic monitoring, Jackson said. Intermediate punishment is a probation program.

"They are satisfied with the outcome," Jackson said.

The pleas must be accepted by a judge.

The pair took methadone and then passed out in the van about 2:45 p.m. Oct. 21 outside the Sunoco convenience store on West Pittsburgh Street, police said.

Jamie Dickant was slumped over her then 3-month-old child on the back seat, according to court papers. Her sister was sitting behind the driver's wheel.

The sisters didn't wake despite store patrons knocking on windows of the 2001 Pontiac Montana, Patrolman Regina DePellegrin wrote in court papers.

When the officer couldn't awaken them by knocking on the windows, DePellegrin opened the driver's door, turned off the vehicle, removed the key and awoke the sisters, according to court papers.

Tonya Dickant told police she and her sister had taken methadone earlier that day, authorities said. An infant carrier was in the van, but there was no child seat, police said.

A representative of the Cambria County Children and Youth Services attended yesterday's proceedings.

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