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Crash victim had been stabbed

July 19, 2000

Crash victim had been stabbed



By DON AINES / Staff Writer, Chambersburg


WAYNESBORO, Pa. - A Waynesboro man killed in a car accident last year was stabbed before the crash and the driver has been charged with criminal homicide, according to a criminal complaint filed Wednesday by the Waynesboro Police Department.

Robert Bader, 19, of 14798 Sherwood Drive, Greencastle, Pa., also was charged with attempted homicide, aggravated assault and driving under the influence in the Aug. 5, 1999, death of Robert Edgar Meyer Jr., 20, of 137 S. Broad St.

Bader was arraigned before District Justice Larry Pentz and was being held without bond Wednesday in Franklin County Prison.

Meyer had stab wounds in the chest and shoulder, but Franklin County Coroner Jeffrey R. Conner said he died of blunt force trauma when Bader's 1987 Camaro struck several parking meters and the side of Snips Etc., a hair styling salon at 332 W. Main St. The accident was reported at 12:57 a.m.

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Police said the accident followed an altercation at a party.

The affidavit of probable cause alleges that Bader had gone to a party on Lincoln Avenue to get money he claimed was owed to him. A person living at the house refused to let Bader inside and the affidavit contended he kicked the door "with enough force to knock items off the wall" inside.

The affidavit said several people came out of the house and began yelling at Bader to leave. Bader yelled back, then drove onto West Main Street, stopping at the Fairview Avenue intersection.

Bader again began yelling at the people from the party, the affidavit said. Meyer and another man "walked over to the defendant's vehicle to find out what the defendant wanted," it said.

The report said Bader and Meyer "exchanged words" and Meyer was stabbed in the chest and shoulder. "Meyer reached through the driver's window and the defendant proceeded to drive away with Mr. Meyer on the outside of the vehicle."

The car ran over the curb on the north side of West Main Street, hit the parking meters and an embankment before hitting the salon. Conner pronounced Meyer dead at the scene.

The affidavit said Bader was freed from the wreckage and taken to Washington County Hospital for injuries that included a cut index finger. A physician who treated Bader said the cut was caused by either a knife or a piece of glass.

Police found a closed folding knife in the car between the driver's seat and console. Cpl. Kirk Heffernan, the officer who filed the affidavit, said the blood on the knife underwent DNA testing and was linked to Bader, not Meyer.

The autopsy of Meyer determined that one of the stab wounds "constituted serious bodily injury," according to the affidavit.

"The one in the chest, although not life threatening, was not a superficial wound," Conner said Wednesday. He said Meyer's "blood alcohol level was above the legal limit for intoxication, according to the autopsy report."

When interviewed by police, Bader admitted he kept a knife clipped to the sun visor of the car, the affidavit alleges.

A blood sample from Bader showed he had a blood alcohol content of 0.033 percent. The legal limit for intoxication in Pennsylvania is 0.1 percent for adults, but any alcohol level in someone under the age of 21 can result in a drunken-driving charge, according to state law.

Heffernan and Assistant District Attorney John Lisko said they could not comment on the case. An attorney retained by Bader's family during the investigation would not comment on the charges.

Later on the day of the accident, Bader in an interview said several men came out of the house where the party was held, threatened him with baseball bats and kicked his car.

"I was going straight to the police to have them come and bust the party," Bader said. He said Meyer jumped feet first into the driver's window of the car.

Pentz scheduled a preliminary hearing on the charges for Tuesday, July 25, at 2 p.m., Bader's 20th birthday.

Under Pennsylvania law, criminal homicide covers a range of offenses from first-degree murder to involuntary manslaughter. Conviction on charges of attempted murder and aggravated assault, which are first-degree felonies, carries penalties of up to 20 years in prison.

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