State College woman who drove off in police car sentenced to prison

A State College woman who drove an unmarked state police cruiser while her hands were cuffed behind her back is headed to state prison.

Janica R. Germello, 26, was sentenced Tuesday in Lycoming County to two to four years on charges in that case and four others. She pleaded guilty earlier this year.

The sentence imposed by Judge Nancy L. Butts included a consecutive four-year probation and 125 hours of community service. She will receive credit for the 10 months she has been in jail unable to post bond.

Germello also must pay $5,831 restitution to the state for damage to police vehicles. A truck driven by a trooper hit the cruiser she was driving to end the pursuit after she commandeered the vehicle.

When she pleaded guilty, the admitted heroin user told Butts she had gone to Williamsport on Sept. 7 to meet a man for prostitution purposes.

When she got into his pickup truck, he identified himself as a state trooper and attempted to take her into custody. She ran but was caught, handcuffed and placed in an unmarked cruiser.

En route to the state police barracks in Montoursville on Interstate 180, she attempted to escape because, she said, she did not want to go to jail. She acknowledged to the judge she was not cooperative.

According to the charges, the trooper stopped the vehicle, got out and went to the passenger side with plans to better secure Germello in the front seat.

She slid over the console, locked the doors and drove off still handcuffed. Another trooper, who was following in the truck, pursued her and the chase ended in suburban Loyalsock Township.

Germello pleaded guilty in that case to fleeing apprehension, escape, resisting arrest and possession of heroin.

Police said they found in her purse 10 bags of heroin, 10 empty bags, six hypodermic needles and a plastic container with heroin residue.

Germello also pleaded guilty to charges in four other 2013 cases, including counts of writing a bad check, attempted prostitution, possession with intent to deliver heroin, possession of heroin and retail theft.

“I made a lot of mistakes,” she told Butts, adding that she was ready to turn her life around.

Her troubles with the law last year began in June when her placement in the accelerated rehabilitative disposition program in a theft case was revoked.

She pleaded guilty but instead of reporting to her probation officer as instructed, she absconded, court records show