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D.A. seeks death for defendant

April 08, 2000|By RICHARD F. BELISLE

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Franklin County District Attorney Jack Nelson said Friday he will seek the death penalty against Michael Brandon Singley, accused of raping and stabbing to death a Chambersburg woman and fatally shooting her neighbor on Nov. 3, 1998.

Singley's trial was scheduled for June 12, but it has now been continued to the September term of court, Nelson said.

Singley, 23, of 1126 E. Brandon Drive, Chambersburg, is charged with raping and killing Christine Rohrer, 23, at her Elder Street home, court records said. He is also accused of shooting James Gilliam, 39, Rohrer's next-door neighbor.

Rohrer's husband, Travis Rohrer, Singley's cousin, survived gunshot and stab wounds in the incident, court records said. Also, according to court records, shots were fired at Gilliam's girlfriend, Deb L. Hock, but she was not hit.

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Singley is charged with two counts of criminal homicide, two counts of attempted homicide and rape.

Singley, his attorneys and Nelson attended an in-chambers conference before Common Pleas Judge J. Douglas Herman.

Nelson said afterward Singley's lawyers have filed a notice of mental infirmity. It allows a jury to find a defendant guilty but mentally ill.

Nelson said he has made arrangements to have Singley examined by a state psychiatrist. Meanwhile, he will continue to assess the case regarding the death penalty, he said.

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