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Pa. man, accused of fleeing from police, gets acquittal

January 14, 1999

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A jury was taken into the parking lot of the Franklin County Courthouse on Wednesday to see a demonstration of a police cruiser's lights and siren, and afterward acquitted a Mercersburg, Pa., man on a charge of attempting to flee or elude police.

The trial lasted two hours and the jury took just over an hour to find Joseph Tod Brown, 27, of 7975 Charlestown Road, innocent of the second-degree misdemeanor, which carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison.

According to court records, Officer Terry A. DeWitt of the Greencastle, Pa., Police Department, attempted to pull over Brown after seeing a car doing 52 mph in a 35 mph zone on Williamson Avenue on July 25, 1998.

The affidavit of probable cause said DeWitt followed Brown's car for about three miles before he pulled over. The affidavit said Brown's car was going up to 76 mph during the incident.

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Brown, who was tried on his birthday, testified he was unaware the police car was behind him during the pursuit, according to Stephen D. Kulla, whose law firm represented Brown. The incident began shortly before noon that day, according to the affidavit.

Brown and DeWitt were the only witnesses called to testify.

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