An 18-year-old Tunkhannock man faces 5 and a half to 14 years in state prison after being sentenced last Wednesday (Sept. 9) for assaulting Tyler Hospital emergency room employees as well as two policemen in 2019.
Cameron Ebert admitted his responsibility in late July in a video guilty plea before Wyoming County President Judge Russell Shurtleff, but last week faced a pair of his victims in person in the county’s main courtroom.
In a plea agreement, some 27 different counts had been reduced to three with the first focused on spitting at and striking two police officers and the last two directed at two Tyler employees.
The incident happened on April 12, 2019, when the defendant was 17, but District Attorney Jeff Mitchell successfully sought to have Ebert tried as an adult when a first jury trial was scheduled for July 15, 2019. The matter was continued through six more jury dates including thrice during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Assistant public defender Jesse Hallinan said Ebert struggles with mental health issues, including bi-polar disorder, and has suffered “severely from depression and anxiety for what occurred on that awful day.”
Hallinan said Ebert never once asked the public defender’s office to find a loophole to get a reduced sentence. He said Ebert actually worries about the victims and is remorseful for what happened.
Ebert spoke to the judge and said, “I suffer from mental illness. I do feel very bad for what I did.”
He started to cry in front of the judge, and said, “I would like to apologize. What I did was wrong. Having done it, I am so sorry.”
Nurse Debra Mackiw took the witness stand and said, “This patient punched me in the head, grabbed my hair to the point of ripping a large portion of hair out, and struck my head with such force it caused me to go unconscious and have a seizure.”
She added, “I felt scared, angry, sad, worried, disappointed, anxious and apprehensive. Those feelings remain with me.”
Mackiw said her biggest feeling was “loss. I feel his actions have caused me to lose my passion to help those patients that others don’t see the same way I do.”
“I also want you to know that while you were in jail I lied awake in bed at night worried about you,” she said. “Please don’t go through life blaming others.”
Ted Kross who oversaw Tyler’s emergency room, but no longer works there, also took the witness stand and spoke from a 38-year-tenure as a nurse.
He noted that the day before the incident, Ebert had chosen to leave the ER and Mackiw who had previously testified actually had gone outdoors looking for him because she was worried for his safety and wanted to protect him.
“We are in the helping profession and want people to get better,” Kross said. “She’s one of the best nurses I have ever come across. She would do anything and everything to help someone get better, and you chose to assault her.”
Kross looked across at Ebert and said, “You’re only 18 and you have plenty of time to turn your life around. We want you to get better. I hope the judge makes a difference in your life.”
DA Mitchell underscored that the victims were police and health care workers trying to help someone. He asked the judge to consider consecutive sentences for Ebert as well as court-ordered mental health treatment.
Ebert was sentenced to 54-108 months in state prison, a $500 fine and $1,571.60 in restitution for spitting on and attacking two police officers; he was also sentenced to 12-36 months in state prison and a $500 fine for aggravated assault of Mackiw; and to 1-24 months in state prison and a $500 fine for simple assault on Kross, with sentences to be served consecutively.
In explaining his sentence, Judge Shurtleff spoke of Ebert having a prior history of violence as a juvenile and his mental health needs would be best addressed in a state facility. Ebert was taken into custody, and the judge said he would be sent to Camp Hill in the near future for processing.
Others sentenced by Judge Shurtleff on Wednesday:
- Brad Wesley Askew, 21, of Tunkhannock, was sentenced to 6-12 months in county jail and a $500 fine for possession with intent to deliver on Jan. 31; and to 2-11 months in county jail and a $500 fine for DUI with a minor on board on May 23, 2018, with sentences to be served consecutively.
- Nichole Ann Bozek, 31, of Nicholson, was sentenced to 30 days-12 months in county jail and a $500 fine for possession of a controlled substance on Aug. 30, 2018; and to 12 months probation and a $500 fine for possession of drug paraphernalia on Aug. 30, 2018, with sentences to be served concurrently.
- Michael John Budzak, 43, of Noxen, was sentenced to 12 months probation and a $500 fine for possession of drug paraphernalia on Jan. 8.
- Dennis George Carpentier Jr., 45, of Marshalls Creek, was sentenced to 4-36 months in state prison, a $500 fine, and $1,544 in restitution for retail theft on March 29, 2016; and to 4-12 months in state prison and a $500 fine for receiving stolen property on April 16, 2016, with sentences to be served consecutively.
- Lisa Ann Dudock, 39, of Tunkhannock was sentenced to 6 months intermediate punishment, commencing with 15 days house arrest, and a $500 fine for DUI on April 27.
- Douglas Scott Harrison, 49, of Tunkhannock, was sentenced to 5 days-6 months in county jail and a $1,000 fine for DUI of a controlled substance, second offense, on June 30, 2014; and to 30 days-17 months in county jail and a $1,500 fine, for DUI, third offense, on July 1, 2015, with sentences to be served consecutively.
- Christopher Martin Harvey, 44, of Tunkhannock, was sentenced to intermediate punishment of five years, commencing with 90 days house arrest, and a $1,500 fine for DUI on July 26, 2019.
- Thomas Lowell Hummell Jr., 52, of Mehoopany, was sentenced to 72 hours-6 months and a $1,000 fine for DUI of a controlled substance on Aug. 6, 2019.
- John James Meehan, 31, of Tunkhannock, was sentenced to 48 hours-6 months in county jail and a $500 fine for DUI on July 17, 2019.
- William David Mooers, 29, of Tunkhannock was sentenced to 7-23 months in county jail and a $500 fine for recklessly endangering another person on May 12.
- Kimberly A. Weida, of Tunkhannock, was sentenced to 12 months probation and $500 fine for drug possession on May 30.
- Eric R. Whitman Jr., 29, of Toms River, N.J., was sentenced to 72 hours-6 month in county jail and a $1,000 fine for DUI on Sept. 23, 2019.