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Murder trials postponed in Pa.

December 21, 1999|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Trials for two Chambersburg men accused in separate criminal homicide cases have been delayed until at least March after continuances were granted Tuesday in Franklin County Court.

Michael Brandon Singley, 22, of 1126 E. Brandon Drive, is charged with killing two people on Nov. 3, 1998, and with the attempted murder of two others the same night. Timothy J. Ross, 26, of 280 Miller St., is charged with the shooting of a borough man on March 1 of this year.

Both men had been scheduled for the January trial term until Tuesday.

"We're still waiting on reports from physicians and psychiatrists," Michael J. Toms, Singley's co-counsel, said Tuesday. Brain scans and other tests on Singley were ordered by President Judge John R. Walker in August.

Singley is charged with the stabbing death of Christine Rohrer, 23, of 391 Elder St., and the fatal shooting of next-door neighbor James Gilliam, of 395 Elder St., according to borough police records. He is also charged with shooting and stabbing Rohrer's husband, Travis Rohrer, and firing a shot at Gilliam's girlfriend, Deb. L. Hock.

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Singley was arrested by borough police the next day at his home and has been held without bail in Franklin County Prison, according to court records.

Earlier this year the District Attorney's Office filed a notice of aggravating circumstances in the case, meaning Singley could face the death penalty if convicted of first-degree murder, according to court records. Those circumstances include multiple murder and the killing of Gilliam, who could have been a prosecution witness.

According to police records, Christine Rohrer was killed and her husband assaulted in their home. Gilliam was shot in his front yard as he and Hock came home.

Travis Rohrer is Singley's first cousin, according to police records.

Ross is charged with the March 1 shooting of Drake Luckett, 34, of 217 Linden Ave. According to borough police, Luckett was shot in the chest at Dave's Tavern, 401 S. Main St., when he opened a side door at the tavern.

Police said Luckett and another man had been involved in an argument shortly before the shooting. Ross has been denied bail in the case.

"We need more time for investigation. There's a lot of information to sift through," said Ross's co-counsel, Thomas S. Deihl.

Ross also received a continuance on a cocaine delivery charge that was filed by Chambersburg police on Jan. 27.

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