RIDGWAY--The Honorable Shawn T. McMahon, President Judge of Elk and Cameron Counties, issued only one bench warrant for the second Return Day of May for the 59th Judicial District. A Bench warrant is really a court order that a judge may issue when a person commits contempt of court, such as failing to appear for a scheduled court date. Bench warrants can be issued for both criminal and civil matters. A bench warrant authorizes the immediate on-site arrest of the individual subject to the bench warrant. Any of the persons named should immediately contact their local law enforcement agency to avoid more charges being filed.
Jahsir Tyhee Sephes-Walker, 20, of Philadelphia, 51 of Johnsonburg, did not show up for his 10:30 a.m. ARD hearing on drug charges. His attorney, Christopher Martini, was present in court on Monday and indicated frustration with the case as Sephes-Walke had not contacted him in months. This case traces back to December 2019 in St. Marys, when a small amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia were found on the defendant. Because of his age and the nature of the office, Sephes-Walke was set to enter the ARD (Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition) program, which gives first-time offenders an opportunity to expunge their records with a 6 month to one-year probation program. This case has been continued multiple times since September of 2020, when the ARD program was first offed to the defendant, including September, October, November, January, and April. Elk County District Attorney Thomas Coppolo petitioned the court to issue a bench warrant for Sephes-Walke, who is subject to immediate arrest and detention as Judge McMahon also revoked his bail conditions.
Read the Full Return Day article in Wednesday's Ridgway Record.