Dentist accused of dumping to stand trial

June 12, 2009 7:27:40 AM PDT
A successful Pennsylvania dentist accused of dumping medical debris at the Jersey shore will have to stand trial. A judge Friday rejected Thomas McFarland Jr.'s request to be accepted into a pretrial intervention program that would have allowed him to avoid a criminal conviction and prison time.

McFarland's attorney described the dentist as distraught because his wife had cancer, saying he was depressed and suffering from mental illness due to her problems.

Prosecutors, though, opposed McFarland's request and the judge agreed, saying the need to assure the public that New Jersey beaches are safe outweighed any concerns over McFarland's personal matters.

The debris spurred Avalon and several other shore towns to close beaches for several days leading to the Labor Day weekend last year.

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