Scranton, Lackawanna County - Just minutes before a former state representative was expected to face trial Wednesday morning in Lackawanna County, he asked a judge to enter a probationary program.
The move could keep Kevin Murphy out of jail.
Murphy was facing assault and harassment charges after an incident last summer.
Even with a jury waiting in the wings, Murphy asked a judge to enter into the ARD program for first-time offenders.
That means the Scranton democrat does not contest allegations that he assaulted his wife and her friend outside of a home on Leggett Street in July.
"It's time for the family to heal, for the children to move on and for everyone to try and heal," Murphy said.
As he left court, Murphy said very little but indicated last July he was trying to protect his children's best interests and his decision Wednesday does the same.
"I think by not making them testify today I think I served their best interest and their welfare here today," Murphy said.
Prosecutor Clarke Madden from the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office called the ARD program a fair resolution to this case.
Madden was prepared to take the case to trial but said the outcome was not unusual and not any type of special treatment.
"This had nothing whatsoever to do with his former political office or any other kind of influence," Madden said. "We have an obligation, which I take extremely seriously, to treat every complain the same."
The victims in the case left court without commenting but said they are glad the issue is behind them.
As part of the ARD program, Murphy will have to go to 90 alcoholic anonymous meetings in 90 days and will also have to perform 50 hours of community service.
"They have four children," defense attorney Paul Walker said. "All those children were in the courtroom ready to testify. They didn't need to take sides in this case. It's a contested custody and divorce proceeding."
If Murphy successfully completes the treatment program by attending the meetings and doing community service, he can ask the judge to wipe his criminal record clean.
If he fails, Murphy could end up in jail.