Carbon man gets probation for threatening family
He tells judge he slept through ordeal police call standoff.
By John J. Moser Of The Morning Call
- January 9, 2009
A Carbon County man who police said caused a seven-hour standoff in November when he threatened his wife and son was sentenced Thursday to probation after telling a judge he slept through the whole ordeal and his estranged wife begged for him not to go to prison.
William A. Veanus, 43, who said he now lives with his mother in Allentown, pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of terroristic threats and was sentenced by county President Judge Roger N. Nanovic to three months' probation.
A felony and another misdemeanor count of terroristic threats were dropped in a plea agreement. He could have faced up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine on the charge to which he pleaded; the recommended sentence is a month probation.
Veanus was arrested Nov. 5 after his wife, Gisela, fled their home on Country Club Road in Mahoning Township after a domestic dispute and told police that — as her husband loaded a gun upstairs — he threatened to kill their 15-year-old son and her if she got involved.
Veanus, who was involved in a similar incident in 2005 and told Nanovic he takes multiple medications for depression, conceded there was a domestic dispute over the son and said, ''I was angry and may have made statements.''
But he said he was simply cleaning the gun — an activity he said calms him — and fell asleep from the medication, with his phone turned off, without realizing police had surrounded his house. He said that when he heard a downstairs phone ring, he answered to find it was police and immediately surrendered.
''I had no idea anything was going on,'' he told Nanovic. ''I had the door locked; at no time did I point the weapon at anyone. Â…That night was less chaotic than a lot of nights in our home, to be honest.'' Police said they seized several handguns and rifles.
But Nanovic told Veanus that in the 2005 standoff, he said ''you might go out in a blaze. Now here we are three years later.''
After the latest incident, Veanus said, he spent 12 days in a Philadelphia mental health facility. And he said the son now is in a program and KidsPeace.
''I want to apologize to my family, the court and police for the chaos I caused,'' Veanus told Nanovic. ''I won't play with a water gun. I won't point a water gun at anyone.''
His wife, sobbing, told Nanovic, ''He has been depressed for a very long time. Our two boys do not want him in jail and asked me to beg you not to send him to jail. They love him and miss him and want to work on their relationship with him.''