A well-known criminal defense attorney facing trial today for driving under the influence was given the option of going to a 90-day alcohol rehabilitation program instead.
James P. Sheets, 42, of Bethel Park chose rehab and is on his way to Greenbrier Treatment Center, his attorney, Patrick Thomassey, said.
Mr. Sheets has two outstanding cases, one on charges of DUI and endangering the welfare of children dating to Sept. 18, 2012, before Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge David R. Cashman, and another for DUI and careless driving from Jan. 18 before Judge Thomas E. Flaherty.
When Mr. Sheets appeared before Judge Cashman this morning, the judge told him he saw him on Monday, and the attorney looked bad -- and that he looked worse today.
He gave him the option of going to trial or going to rehab. He had Mr. Sheets go with the sheriff's deputies while treatment arrangements were made.
"Judge Cashman did the right thing today," Mr. Thomassey said. "Me and a lot of his colleagues are worried about him, and we're going to help him through this."
Mr. Sheets previously worked as an assistant public defender for five years and went into private practice about eight years ago.
Paula Reed Ward: email@example.com or 412-263-2620. Twitter: @PaulaReedWard.