Pennsylvania Judge Steals Cocaine From Evidence Room and Possibly Compromises Murder Case . . . Given Misdemeanor Deal With No Jail Time

Pozonsky-screen-grab-from-archived-Wash-Co-courts-pageThere is an interesting criminal appeal filed in Pennsylvania by a convicted murderer Robert Urwin Jr., 58 who has serious reservations about the judge who presided at his trial. He should know. Former Washington County Common Pleas Judge Paul Pozonsky was later sentenced in the same courthouse for stealing cocaine from the evidence room and replacing it with baking soda.

Pozonsky later moved to Alaska but was brought back. What is astonishing is that he was given a plea bargain of just three misdemeanors: charges of theft; obstruction of justice and misapplying entrusted government property. The only felony charge was for a conflict of interest. So a judge allegedly steals cocaine, destroys evidence, hides the crime, and uses cocaine in court and the prosecutors give him a plea down to misdemeanors?

Now, Urwin is saying that he would have preferred a non-coke head for a judge — not an unreasonable expectation. His attorney Brian Geiger wrote that “It is very likely Pozonsky was using cocaine in his chambers during work hours and while deciding to convict Robert Urwin.”

That however may not be as easy as one would expect. Usually the courts look at the transcript for evidence that the judge was impaired. Obviously if there was evidence that Pozonsky, 59, was incapacitated on the bench during this period, a stronger case could be made. Cocaine use alone however does not mean that someone is incapacitated 24-7.

The case against Urwin was a strong one. He murdered Mary Irene Gency, 16, on Feb. 13, 1977. She and Urwin dated for nearly two years. She was found naked with a crushed skull in a field. She was also pregnant.

Also arrested for the crime was David Bernard Davoli, 57, who testified that he and Urwin were driving around drinking and smoking marijuana hen they picked up Gency and drove to the Charleroi High School parking lot to roll joints. After Urwin and Gency had an argument, Urwin punched her and they then drove to an area where they both had sex with Gency in the vehicle prior to Urwin pulling her out of the car. Davoli says that Urwin then beat her and dragged her from the car. What is interesting that that the charges against Davoli were dropped for insufficient evidence but he later pleaded guilty to hindering apprehension and tampering with physical evidence. Tampering is what Pozonsky was originally charged with and, you guessed it, he was the judge who sentenced Davoli to 2 to 4 years in prison, followed by two years of state probation. Again a remarkably low sentence given the murder of a pregnant woman. Yet, he did cooperate against Polonsky who was convicted by Pozonsky of third-degree murder and criminal homicide and sentenced him to serve 10 to 20 years in prison. During this period, Polonsky himself was allegedly stealing cocaine from the evidence room and substituting baking powder.

Second-degree misdemeanors carry a maximum sentence of one to two years confinement and a $5,000 fine. However, not only have the prosecutors dropped three charges of conflict of interest, a felony, theft and drug possession, but they have agreed not to ask for any jail time. None.

Visiting Judge Daniel Howsare of Bedford County accepted that unbelievably generous deal and will sentence Mr. Pozonsky, who lives in Alaska, on July 13th.

The case for a retrial will be difficult for Urwin, though given the virtual walk granted to Pozonsky, anything seems possible in the Pennsylvania criminal justice system.

Source: Observer-Reporter

21 thoughts on “Pennsylvania Judge Steals Cocaine From Evidence Room and Possibly Compromises Murder Case . . . Given Misdemeanor Deal With No Jail Time”

  1. That is outrageous and just one more example of how the legal system protects its own. If any individual that was not connected with government in general, or the legal system, did what Mr. Pozonsky did you can bet your last dollar that they would have had the book thrown at them.

  2. Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
    John Dalberg-Acton

  3. Well, he’s just acting like any other high level government employee. You mean the law should actually apply to them, too?

    It is a terrible betrayal of the public trust whenever a judge, police officer, teacher, doctor, nurse, or any other trusted figure breaks the law.

    What especially struck me about the above article was the heinousness of the crime against poor Ms Gency and her baby. These kinds of cases, where the father of the child murders a pregnant woman, that remind me of the “Shining.” It is terrifying when the person who is supposed to protect does them harm instead.

    1. Karen – I found it interesting that both the men had sex with her before she was killed. She seemed compliant with this.

  4. Paul C

    From this article, alone, neither one of us has any clue as to how much evidence the authorities has against this judge. Eyewitnesses? Videos? There’s more at play here. Perhaps these individuals, due to their prior contacts or relationships with the judge, are being more than lenient with him. Perhaps there’s more. Just sayin’. Lots of serious charges to simply overlook with no repercussions.

  5. bam bam – the picture is photoshopped. I’m thinking they do not have a clear link to him and if he take them to trial, they have only a 50/50 chance of winning. And that is if the coke-head defends himself.

  6. Is it possible, just possible, that those prosecutors and the judge involved in Polonsky’s ultimate fate–bestowing upon him what could only be considered an extremely generous recommendation and sentence–may have a few things to hide? Oh, I don’t know. . .maybe they were sharing in some of Polonsky’s bounty? Never say never. Substance abuse problems are rampant within the legal community, so much so that a monthly journal, published by the Missouri Bar, consistently has a back page advertising help for attorneys facing drug and alcohol problems. Perhaps this former judge was given what amounts to a pass because he could bring down a whole lotta people if things didn’t go his way.

  7. I done it so that children wouldn’t accidentally get into the cocaine and hurt themselves. Snort. Snort. I done to keep a cop from stealing it. Snort. Snort. That’s what “oyez” means . . . Oh yez, take the cocaine! Snort. Snort.

    (Trying to put myself into his frame of mind.)

  8. Of course, in accepting responsibility under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, you get some time whittled off your sentence.

  9. Saw a piece on the news last week of an FBI agent who got hooked on heroin. He stole heroin from evidence and has jeopardized many cases. To his credit, he did the interview, has accepted responsibility, and will sentenced soon, probably 3-5 years.

  10. Shouldn’t judges be held to a higher standard? Will this affect all the trials he presided over?

  11. I wonder what gave him away? The white powder, crusted around the nostrils or the constant sniffing?

    No mention of any repercussions regarding his license to practice law. Perhaps he has left the law profession and has decided to become a baker, given the excess amount of baking powder that he seems to have at his disposal.

  12. Kudos to JT for continually surfacing the disgusting behavior of some in law enforcement and the justice system. Law enforcement and the justice system is so protected from the same laws they administer that the only way change will come is with a continuing of profiling of this rancid behavior.

    This scum of a judge not only denigrates the justice system, he places the public in harms way. Publicity, publicity, and more publicity.

    People in positions of power, authority, and that demand respect should get at least twice the sentence of an average criminal.

  13. The threads of the two stories are run together and it makes little sense to talk about the crime of the judge and the crime of the other guy. How do we know the judge stole the coke? Video camera in the evidence room? Eye witness?
    Judges should not do drugs. Coke will be legal in a few years, just like pot and just like the primary killer which is tobacco. Guns are quicker. Suicide can be painless.

  14. Isn’t there a chain of custody of the cocaine? Why would a judge need to sign it out? There is so much more to this story and like Justice Holmes said, it’s disgusting.

  15. Rules for thee, but not for me.

    This is why so many have lost faith and trust in authority. And the rule of law being applied fairly and equally.

  16. Power corrupts and ….. The sight of the power structure protecting this man is disgusting but not surprising. And politicians wonder why humans have lost faith in the criminal “justice” system.

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