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Ross pleads innocent to homicide charge

August 18, 1999|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A borough man charged with criminal homicide in connection with a March shooting has entered an innocent plea and his case has been scheduled for the November trial term.

Timothy J. Ross, 26, of 280 Miller St., has been held without bond at Franklin County Prison since he was taken into custody following the March 1 shooting of Drake Luckett, 34, of 217 Linden Ave.

Luckett was shot in the chest as he opened the door of Dave's Tavern at 401 S. Main St.

Witnesses told borough police Luckett and another man were arguing before the man left the bar. When Luckett opened the bar's Catherine Street door, he was shot, staggered back inside and collapsed. He was pronounced dead a few minutes later at Chambersburg Hospital.

David R. Yoder, one of Ross's attorneys, said his client waived formal arraignment in writing Wednesday and did not appear in Franklin County Court.

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Yoder said he has filed another bail petition on Ross's behalf. A county judge had declined to consider an earlier petition because Ross' bond on a January drug arrest had been revoked.

"Under Pennsylvania law he is eligible for bail, although the amount is at the discretion of the judge," Yoder said. Defendants in criminal homicide cases are eligible for parole unless the prosecution has filed notice that it intends to seek the death penalty, Yoder said.

In June, Franklin County District Attorney John F. Nelson indicated his office would not seek the death penalty against Ross.

Yoder said he and co-counsel Thomas S. Diehl have filed a consolidated petition to reinstate bail on the drug case and have bail set on the homicide charge.

Under Pennsylvania law, a charge of criminal homicide covers a range of crimes from first-degree murder to involuntary manslaughter.

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