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Friday, Mar 4, 2005County: Lebanon
Defendant/Suspect: Russell Diamond
Russell L. Diamond's long, graying black hair is matted and tangled, like his almost-white beard. The fingernails on his thumbs are an inch long. Defense attorney Harry Fenton tried to explain that the way Diamond looked and sounded yesterday is the way he did on March 4, 2005, the first night he was arrested for drunken driving. Frail and unkempt, the Union Twp. man took the stand hoping to convey that to President Judge Robert Eby, but he failed.
During a bench trial yesterday, Eby found Diamond, 71, guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol and a slew of summary charges that include counts of animal cruelty. A horse that was inside a trailer was covered in "crud" when police stopped Diamond and a sick calf that was also inside had to be euthanized, authorities said. The judge set Diamond's sentencing hearing for May 31.
Diamond is the father of Russ Diamond, 42, an Annville businessman and founder of PACleanSweep, a group seeking to oust state lawmakers. Russ Diamond announced last week he is running for governor as an independent.
Officer Peter Jungbaer of the Fort Indiantown Gap police force testified yesterday that he pulled over Russell L. Diamond along Fisher Avenue about 1:45 a.m. because he was driving in the wrong lane, then swerved between the lanes. When he approached the Bronco, Jungbaer said, he could smell a strong odor of alcohol in the sport utility vehicle and on Diamond's breath.
Diamond said he drank at least three beers, Jungbaer testified. He said he arrested Diamond for being too drunk to operate a vehicle safely.
Two more drunken driving charges were filed against Diamond in the months leading up to an Aug. 10 standoff with police at his home in the first block of Lincoln School Road. For nine hours, Diamond held state troopers at bay with a rifle, police said. He fired once and missed a trooper's head, police said.
He is charged with attempted homicide, aggravated assault, simple assault and recklessly endangering others. Diamond is serving 18 months' probation for an assault and harassment case to which he pleaded guilty last month, but will remain in the county jail in lieu of $1 million bail.
- The Patriot News - April 19, 2006
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