Garland man pleads guilty in crime spree

A Garland man has entered a guilty plea to a plethora of charges stemming from a September 2018 spree and a subsequent attempt to influence one of the victims.

Christian S. Iverson, 38, entered the plea before President Judge Maureen Skerda.

The charges stem from an incident in September 2018 when police were dispatched to Dunn’s Eddy Road in Brokenstraw Township for a reported possible home invasion. On their way to the scene, police said, they were informed that the suspect was using a weapon and attempting to enter the residence, as well as “screaming he was going to kill the victims.”

As they reached the scene, police said, they saw a white Ford F350 heading toward them at a high rate of speed in the wrong lane of travel and refusing to move over for the oncoming officers, who swerved to avoid hitting it. After turning around and pursuing the truck for about one mile, police said, it committed “numerous traffic violations” before it struck “approximately two mailboxes and one yard ornament” and then swerved into the woods on the north side of the roadway.

That, police said, is when the vehicle struck a tree and the driver fled on foot.

Police interviewed the victims, who told them that Iverson had arrived at their residence and driven through their yard, striking additional mailboxes and causing damage to multiple yards belonging to other people. Victims told police that Iverson “appeared to be highly intoxicated.” After driving through the yard, witnesses told police, Iverson then got out of his vehicle with a hatchet and “began yelling that he was going to kill them.”

At that point, witnesses went on to tell police, Iverson “broke all the lights on the exterior of the residence to avoid detection.” He then proceeded to use the hatchet to break windows on the garage door, threw the hatchet at windows on the second floor of the residence where victims were located, and punch the windshield of his estranged family member’s car, breaking it and causing his hand to bleed.

Iverson then “attempted to enter the residence several times.”

Iverson fled again before police discovered him and “had to use substantial force, namely a taser, to effect the arrest.”

Fast forward to March 2019 and Iverson and his wife, Camille, were charged with intimidation of witnesses or victims.

The Iversons told the victim to sign a latter “as if he had written the letter himself,” according to the affidavit. “He also observed in the letter, it states that (the victim) never heard Christian Iverson say he was going to kill him. It also states that law enforcement forced (the victim) into making a false statement about Christian Iverson.”

The victim “stated these were all lies, and he in fact was threatened (by Iverson) and he was not forced into making a statement (by police),” police said in the affidavit. He “stated he felt pressured and coerced into signing the letter in fear of what Iverson would do to him if he refused.”

Police said the victim also received an offer that the Iversons would work for him for free if he signed the letter.

Iverson pled to a county of intimidation of witnesses or victims for that offense.

From the September incident, Iverson pled guilty to criminal trespass, flight to avoid apprehension, trial or punishment, DUI: Controlled substance/impaired ability – first offense, simple assault, resisting arrest, loitering and prowling at night time, criminal trespass, driving vehicle at safe speed, reckless driving, operate on private property without consent and theft by unlawful taking.

In exchange for the plea, a litany of charges were not prosecuted: Criminal attempt (burglary), burglary, terroristic threats, criminal mischief, two counts of DUI: General impairment/incapable of safe driving – first offense, DUI: Controlled substances/impaired ability – first offense, stalking, make repairs/sell/etc. offensive weapons, two counts of fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, harassment, disorderly conduct, driving on right side of roadway, fail to yield right, duty of driver in emergency response areas, two counts of abandoning vehicle on public/private property, careless driving, two counts of damage real property by operating a motor vehicle, duty to give information or render aid, accident involving damage to unattended vehicle/property, restraint systems, unlawful operate now/ATV at unsafe speed, unlawful operate snow/ATV in careless way, two counts of aggravated assault, possession – small amount of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, recklessly endangering another person, unlawful operate snow/atv without helmet, unlawful operation – registration certificate and snowmobile/ATV liability insurance required.

Skerda walked through maximum penalties for those charges that they total approximately nearly 32 years incarceration and fines of over $70,000.