Perry County man’s appeal of 2017 burglary conviction upheld by state Superior Court
HARRISBURG — A Perry County man’s appeal of his 2017 conviction on burglary and related charges was upheld last week by the state Superior Court, as was his 27-month to five-year prison sentence, court documents show.
Jonathan Haubert, 31, of Thompsontown, was accused of stealing a safe containing about $11,000 from the Perry County home of his aunt in June 2015.
Haubert made a $2,000 cash deposit in his bank account — which had a balance of 27 cents a few days earlier — purchased a $2,000 car stereo and was seen by a witness carrying a thick wad of money, according to police. When questioned about the cash, Haubert said he made the money selling heroin.
A Perry County jury didn’t buy Haubert’s story and convicted him last year.
Haubert appealed the conviction and his sentence, arguing that the evidence was lacking. He said there were no eye witnesses, no physical evidence linking him to the crime and a lack of police investigation.
The state Superior Court rejected those claims.
Haubert was performing yard work for his aunt at the time of the burglary. Police accused him of stealing the safe when his aunt went out to buy them sandwiches for lunch. His aunt noted that Haubert was acting “antsy” when she returned. Haubert never came back to finish the yardwork.
The victim told police she discovered the back door to her home had been forced open, and that her movable safe had been stolen. The safe contained just over $11,000, which the victim said she had accumulated over years of saving. The denominations of the bills were in $50 and $100 increments, police say. The deed to her home and her social security card were also missing, the victim said.
Haubert’s aunt said he had seen her go to her bedroom to retrieve money to pay him for yardwork he performed, police say.
Within days of the incident, police say, Haubert made a bank deposit of $2,000 — all in $50 bills. He also bought the car stereo and showed his brother a large wad of cash.
Haubert’s brother gave police a signed statement saying Haubert admitted to stealing the safe, but said he did not remember saying that when asked to testify at Haubert’s trial, according to the Superior Court’s opinion.
Two state troopers also testified they doubted Haubert’s claim that he made the money stealing drugs, noting that users who perform street-level transactions generally pay with smaller denominations.
“There was sufficient evidence to enable the jury to decide that (Haubert) was the perpetrator,” the Superior Court concluded.