SUNBURY — A 38-year-old Danville man charged in a high-speed chase, involving a truck loaded with livestock, was sentenced by video Monday on multiple charges by Northumberland County President Judge Charles H. Saylor.
Jarrett Castelonia reaffirmed his previous guilty plea to a felony of fleeing police, a misdemeanor of criminal conspiracy to commit cruelty to animals and summaries of driving under suspension and reckless driving.
The defendant was initially charged with 81 offenses and planned to take his case to trial.
He received a lead sentence of 12 to 24 months in state prison on the fleeing offense and a concurrent sentence of 12 to 24 months for criminal conspiracy. He also was ordered to pay $200 in fines plus costs and make restitution of $600 to state police and $241.52 to the SPCA.
Prior to being sentenced, Castelonia, who was represented by defense attorney Michael Morrone, told the court, “I’ve finally grown up and I apologize for my actions.”
Castelonia and Morrone both apologized to Saylor for multiple delays in the case.
Castelonia was given credit for about 780 days served in prison, which exceeded his two-year maximum sentence in Northumberland County. But he was still being held in SCI-Coal Township on a detainer for receiving stolen property in Virginia in 2015.
Following sentencing, Castelonia waived his right to extradition to Virginia.
A co-defendant, Peter Rory Birster, 27, of Marion Heights, was previously sentenced by Judge Hugh Jones to nine to 23 months in county prison and two years consecutive probation on multiple charges including 11 counts of cruelty to animals, resisting arrest and recklessly endangering.
Birster was ordered to make more than $21,000 restitution in the case and pay a $1,400 fine plus costs.
Castelonia, who was the driver of the truck, and Birster were charged by Mount Carmel Township Police Chief Brian Hollenbush relating to a 27-mile chase on June 15, 2017, that resulted in the deaths of four goats that were in the enclosed bed of the GMC truck. Twenty-five goats and six sheep were being hauled.
The pursuit from Marion Heights to the Herndon area involved state police and officers from five municipalities.
Hollenbush said the livestock belonged to Castelonia’s mother, who owns a farm in the Danville area.
The chief said Castelonia and Birster fled after spotting police because Birster believed there was a warrant for his arrest for burglary. There wasn’t a warrant at the time, but he was being investigated in connection with a burglary for which he was later charged.