Frazier going to trial

August 01, 1997


Staff Writer, Chambersburg

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Daniel Alan Frazier waived an arraignment Wednesday in Franklin County Court and is scheduled to go to trial in September on drug and firearms charges, according to court officials.

Frazier, 18, fatally shot Ernesto "Ernie" Casanova Jr. after Casanova broke into the home of Frazier's parents on Sycamore Grove Road on April 23. Frazier told police his gun went off unintentionally when he scuffled with Casanova after the break-in, according to court records.

The charges against Frazier arose from the police investigation into the shooting, but he has not been charged in Casanova's death. Franklin County District Attorney Jack Nelson ruled that the shooting, although unintentional, was justifiable.


Casanova, 17, was shot once in the forehead with a Beretta .380-caliber semiautomatic pistol.

Frazier faces two misdemeanor drug charges and a uniform firearms act violation for allegedly altering or obliterating marks of identification on the pistol.

Police allege he purchased the gun illegally.

Frazier will appear in court on Sept. 2 with jury selection scheduled for Sept. 8, according to public defender Deborah Hoff, who represents Frazier.

Shortly after 3 a.m. on April 23, Casanova - who was armed with a sawed-off baseball bat - and two other masked intruders, one armed with a 12-gauge shotgun, entered the back door of the house at 4496 Sycamore Grove Road.

After Casanova was shot, the two other intruders fled with three alleged lookouts and another person in a getaway car, police have said.

Pennsylvania State Police arrested six suspects less than a week later and charged them with burglary, attempted robbery, attempted theft, and criminal conspiracy.

Anthony D'Ambrosio, 16, who police believe entered the home and is being tried as an adult, and alleged lookouts Marcus Taylor, 18, and Michael Jett, 18, pleaded not guilty to the charges on Wednesday.

Not guilty pleas were also entered by George Washington Jones, 19, the third person suspected of breaking into the home, and Tytus Taylor, 20, who allegedly waited outside with Jett and his brother, Marcus Taylor.

The five defendants, all of Chambersburg, are also scheduled for jury selection on Sept. 8

Amanda Colon, 18, of Waynesboro, Pa., Casanova's cousin, who is accused of driving the getaway car, is scheduled to be arraigned Aug. 8.

The group planned in advance to break into the Frazier home with the intent of robbing the family of money, valuables and drugs, according to court documents.

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