New Castle News

TOP STORIES

April 25, 2012

Santillos claim incompetent counsel, seek hearings

NEW CASTLE — The Mahoningtown couple jailed for taking more than $470,000 from St. Vitus Church claim they had poor legal advice.

August Santillo, 54 — who pleaded guilty to theft by deception and theft of movable property and was sentenced to 2 1/2 to 5 years in prison — is scheduled for a post-conviction relief hearing at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday before Lawrence County Judge John W. Hodge.

His wife, Kimberly Santillo, 50 — who pleaded guilty to theft by deception and conspiracy, and was sentenced to 12 to 23 months less one day in a state correctional institution — last month filed a post-conviction relief petition challenging the effectiveness of her attorney, Brian F. Levine. He represented her during pre-trial, her guilty plea and sentencing.

A hearing had been scheduled before Hodge for 1:30 p.m. Tuesday. However, on Monday, Santillo, through her court-appointed attorney James R. Papa, requested the matter be continued.

Papa said Santillo recently learned she had been paroled from Muncy State Correctional Institution and her release date is set for May 1.

He said he will meet with her following her release to determine if she intends to continue with the post-conviction petition or to withdraw or amend it.

He added that Gregory Simatic of the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office, has no objection to continuing the matter. Hodge continued the hearing to 1:30 p.m. July 24.

In his hearing, scheduled for Wednesday morning, August Santillo claims his attorneys David S. Shrager and Stanton D. Levenson, provided ineffective counsel and that his attorneys’ incompetence caused an “unknowing and involuntary plea.”

The couple was convicted of taking $471,562.65 from St. Vitus Church between May 1, 2001, and Aug. 26, 2008. During that time, Kimberly Santillo had been a secretary/bookkeeper and August Santillo was a fundraiser for the school. The couple lived a lavish lifestyle that included designer clothing, late-model cars, foreign vacations and expensive jewelry and computers.

(Email: nlowry@ncnewsonline.com)

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
TOP STORIES
  • school.jpg Wilmington board debates ‘free expression’

    Wilmington Area school directors weighed student safety concerns against free speech rights Monday. A proposed policy on student free expression and posting of materials drew concern from one board member.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • meehan.jpg Meehan named Neshannock superintendent

    Terence P. Meehan is the new superintendent at Neshannock Township School District. Board members voted 5-4 last night to fill the post that will be vacated June 30 with the retirement of Dr. Mary Todora.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • fire.jpg Fire guts Union Township house

    The state police fire marshal is investigating a fire in that broke out in a vacant Union Township house Monday. Union Township firefighters responded at 3 a.m. to 314 Smithfield St.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 08.jpg Photo Gallery, Story: Community Easter morning service

    There’s a reason why most holidays last only 24 hours. It’s because when you’re finished celebrating, there’s still work to be done. The Rev. David Young reminded everyone who attended Sunday’s community Easter morning service at Lawrence Village Plaza of that.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo 1 Slideshow

  • money.jpg Retirements, attrition to save district money

    A slew of retirements in the New Castle School District may result in savings in the 2014-15  budget. The school district plans to introduce its spending plan next month.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fletch1.jpg No Retreat: Teacher’s golden retriever proves to be a hero, fighter

    It was last fall, and my favorite time of the year to be in the woods hunting. On this day, I could hunt small game and turkey, though my primary purpose was a hike in the woods with my dog, Maggie. This year was special. I also had my five-month-old golden retriever, Remi.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • fire.jpg Firefighters respond to gas leak

    New Castle firefighters responded to a gas leak Friday at the former Lincoln-Garfield school on Long Avenue. Assistant Fire Chief Mike Petrone said Columbia Gas received a call from someone in the 800 block of South Mercer Street about the smell of gas Friday morning.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • ATV.jpg City residents register complaints about ATVs

    Some North Hill residents expressed annoyance and frustration over youngsters recklessly operating all-terrain vehicles through their neighborhoods.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Barletto.jpg Emotional Closure: Woman sentenced in Jerry McCarthy’s death

    The driver of the car that killed a Shenango Township policeman is heading to prison. Kylee Gwen Barletto, 26, apologized Wednesday to the family of William J. “Jerry” McCarthy and to her family after pleading guilty to eight of 16 charges against her.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • fire.jpg Fire marshal probes cause of blaze

    A city police fire marshal said he hasn’t ruled yet on a blaze that ravaged two Taylor Street houses. Chris Fabian, who was at the fire scene for the duration Monday morning, said the blaze that displaced three families started in the back of a yellow, two-story duplex at 602 Taylor St.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads
Poll

Milwaukee catcher Martin Maldonado has been suspended five games for sucker punching Pittsburgh’s Travis Snider during a bench clearing brawl on Sunday. You OK with that suspension?

Yes. Seems fair.
No. Baseball NEVER gets it right in these situations. Should have been at least 20 games for his sucker punch into a pile of players.
Not sure, but I’d love to see baseball be like hockey and allow two guys to fight for a while before breaking it up. Let’s see how tough Maldonado is then.
     View Results