Elk County Prison

While the exterior might be beautiful, especially on a sunny July day, the Prison is a looming presence to those attending Return Day hearings in Elk County Court.

ELK COUNTY--For the third Return Day of July, a docket packed with drug offenses and DAI's (PA's term for DUI) greeted courthouse staff on Monday morning.

Theodore Michael Carlson II, 25, of Johnsonburg, had four separate cases on the docket as the first hearing of the day began. Three cases involving controlled substances, while the other was a retail theft (shoplifting) case.

The saying goes, "there's no honor among thieves," and one of the cases that Carlson pled guilty to illustrated that fact. As part of an undercover investigation, the Elk County Drug Force documented Carlson agreeing to sell a gram of heroin for $160 to a confidential informant. With information downloaded from a cell phone, the transaction was agreed upon, and the Carlson accepted $160 in marked bills and absconded with it, never providing the drugs in question, He was later caught during a traffic stop and found to have multiple 'bags' of heroin in his possession. 2020 was not a good year for Carlson as he was also arrested for marihuana and retail theft additionally. Given his lengthy criminal history, he will spend the next year to two years minus one day incarcerated in the Elk County Prison. When released, he will remain on probation for an additional three years. In addition to prosecution costs and fines, including $1,000 for the heroin possession charge, President Judge Shawn McMahon made a condition of his parole to be released only to an in-patient treatment facility for completion of drug and alcohol rehabilitation therapy. Once he is released, he will also be required to sign up with the PA Career Link service, with finding and maintaining a job being part of his probation conditions.

Jay Richard Rieder, 39, of Kersey, was taken to the Elk County Prison immediately after his hearing to begin serving his state-mandated 5-day minimum incarceration on his second DAI (Driving After Imbibing). Technically this is Rieder's third DUI, but with the recent ARD ruling in PA Superior Court, Rieder's first DAI charge can not be tallied against his total as he completed ARD (Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition) in that case several years ago. With that accounted for, he will serve 12 months on probation for his new DAI charge early in 2020, with a second DAI coming later that year, resulting in incarceration. He additionally lied on a gun permit registration and received an additional 12 months of probation on that charge. Fines, fees, and court costs will add up to thousands for Rieder when all are compiled.

Alyssa Mayer, 26, of Johnsonburg, plead guilty to stealing $3,772 in cash and lottery tickets when she was employed at the Fuel On convenience store located on Center Street in Johnsonburg. An additional theft charge was also included with one specific victim for $150. Mayer agreed to provide restitution to the victims and will be on probation for four years, though that may be less if she successfully provides full restitution to her victims. As a condition of her probation, she must register with PA Career Link, obtain employment, and complete courses to attain her GED diploma.

William Thompson, 47, of Ridgway pled guilty to possession of a controlled substance, in this case, several grams of methamphetamine, when State Police found him passed out in his vehicle on Ridge Road in 2020. He entered an "open" plea with the sentence to be determined by Judge McMahon upon completion of a Pre-Sentence investigation report by the Elk County Probation Department, Normally the sentence for this charge would be in the one year to 18 months of probation range, but Thompson's criminal history will be a mitigating factor in possibly an enhanced sentence.

Mariah Elizabeth Lytle, 23, of Weedville, pled guilty to endangering the welfare of children and will spend the next four to twenty-four months in jail for that offense that shocked the Ridgway area in 2019. The Ridgway Police Department responded to a home in the Borough and found a 5-year-old child clad only in a diaper, answering the door for police while Lytle was passed out unconscious in the bedroom after ingesting methamphetamine. As is common in drug cases, she also had theft charges and possession charges in addition to the abuse charges. She will spend the next 36 months on probation and, like other defendants, must be paroled to an in-patient drug and alcohol therapy center when she completes her prison incarceration. She will also have to register with PA Career Link and maintain employment as part of her parole and probation conditions.

Recommended for you