Addiction turned Delta-area man into 'monster,' ex says
A Delta-area man has received a time-served sentence for yanking the emergency brake on a moving car and causing it to crash because the driver — his fiancee at the time — wouldn't take him to buy drugs.
Ex-fiancee Sierra Grantland told The York Dispatch on Tuesday, Jan. 8, that she has forgiven Charles Joline III and believes he deserves a second chance.
"When he's sober, he is an absolute butterfly," she said. "But when he's in active addiction, he's a monster."
Joline, 24, of Peach Bottom Township, pleaded guilty in York County Court on Monday, Jan. 7, to reckless endangerment.
In exchange for his plea, charges of aggravated assault, risking a catastrophe and simple assault were dismissed, according to court records.
He was sentenced to 227 days to 23 months in York County Prison as part of a negotiated plea agreement, records state. He has already spent 227 days in prison, meaning it's a time-served sentence, according to court records.
Defense attorney Seamus Dubbs said Joline's actions were reckless but didn't rise to the level of felony aggravated assault.
"As I said in court, it was a stupid decision," the attorney said, but he noted his client wasn't in his "right frame of mind" because he was suffering from addiction issues.
'He needs help': Grantland confirmed she didn't oppose the negotiated plea agreement and echoed Dubbs' assessment of Joline.
"I told the DA, 'He needs help ... serious help,'" she said. "I've spent three years on and off with him. We've been through active addiction, recovery, relapse — and I know what it's like. I've been there."
Joline won't be released from York County Prison unless he can post $20,000 bail on his remaining pending criminal case, in which he's accused of assaulting and choking Grantland.
"We had gotten back together (after the crash) and tried to work things out," she said. "He was out on bail, and we were living together and things were great."
But according to court documents, they argued at their home May 22 about the crash.
Joline threw Grantland to the floor, straddled her hips and pinned her, court documents allege.
Allegedly choked: "Joline then proceeded to choke her out several times," and threatened to "tie her up, lock her up, and bury her," according to state police allegations.
He fled their home when Grantland told him she was calling police, documents state.
Joline was returned to York County Prison after being charged with simple assault, making terroristic threats and harassment, court records state.
He's been sober since being incarcerated again, Grantland said.
"He has a lot of potential. He's smart, and I know he can make it in this world," she said. "He just needs a little bit of help."
Grantland said she understands it would be easy for someone to look at police allegations against, and newspaper articles about, Joline and decide he isn't a great person. But she said those people haven't seen him in everyday life — they've only heard the worst about him.
"I just want to help him and get him on the right track," she said.
Grantland said while she and Joline aren't currently involved, she cares for him and has known him for too long to give up on him.
The crash: Joline caused Grantland to crash her Dodge Dart on Route 74 in Peach Bottom Township on Jan. 23, 2018, by pulling the emergency brake, which caused her car to roll.
“He pulled my emergency brake probably doing 50 miles per hour, and I rolled the car,” Grantland, then 18, told The York Dispatch in the days after the crash.
She was hospitalized, and a doctor used two medical staples to close a small head wound, she said.
State police at the time said the couple had been arguing, and Grantland said the argument was over Joline's drug use: “He wanted a ride to the city to get drugs, and I didn’t want to take him."
That's when he pulled the brake, causing the car to go into an uncontrolled skid and roll over, according to state police.
Joline then fled the scene, leaving Grantland behind, police said.
Facebook assist: After the crash, Grantland posted on her Facebook account, asking people to help police arrest Joline.
"IF ANYONE SEES Charles Joline, PLEASE RETURN TO (York County Prison) OR STATE POLICE," she wrote.
Grantland said the post, shared nearly 500 times as of a year ago, helped get Joline arrested.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.