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Move made to suppress statements

March 02, 2000|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Attorneys for a Chambersburg man charged with criminal homicide want to suppress statements made by a man now engaged to the victim's former fiancee.

Timothy J. Ross, 26, is charged in the March 1, 1999, death of Drake Luckett, 34, of 217 Linden Ave. Luckett was shot in the chest in the doorway of Dave's Tavern, 401 S. Main St.

Ross was in court Thursday for a hearing on pre-trial defense motions.

His attorneys, David R. Yoder and Thomas S. Diehl, want excluded from the trial statements made to Chambersburg police by Duane Ferguson, 24, of Chambersburg.

Chambersburg Police Detective Scott Mummert said Tamra Lidie, who had been engaged to the shooting victim, told police in January that Ferguson was willing to tell what he knew about the case.

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Lidie says Ferguson is now her fiancee, Mummert said.

Mummert said that in January, Ferguson told him Ross admitted to the killing while both were in Franklin County Prison. Ross told Ferguson where the .38-caliber handgun was and wanted him to retrieve it after he made bail, Mummert alleged.

Police earlier had charged Ferguson with threatening his cousin to keep her from giving investigators evidence against Ross.

Assistant District Attorney David Rahauser said the prosecution will dismiss the intimidation of a witness charge if Ferguson agrees to testify in Ross' trial.

Yoder said later Ferguson is being held in Adams County on assault and robbery charges.

The defense also asked that testimony about a jacket found in a vacant lot where the handgun was found be suppressed.

Yoder asked Walker to exclude statements by two other county inmates. Mummert testified the two men, now in state prisons, told police they heard Ross talk about the shooting.

The defense also wants to suppress evidence found during a search of Ross' car, specifically three .357-caliber Magnum cartridges found in the glove compartment. "It doesn't seem to me ... they'd be relevant" since the bullets are a different caliber from the murder weapon, Walker said.

Yoder said he also wants the court to appoint a toxicologist "to interpret the amount of alcohol in Luckett's system when he died."

Ferguson and the jailhouse witnesses are to appear Friday, March 17, when the hearing resumes.

The defense is filling a motion to continue the case, which was scheduled for the March trial term.

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