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Trial set in dragging of officer

May 10, 2001

Trial set in dragging of officer



By STACEY DANZUSO / Staff Writer, Chambersburg


CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Two Pennsylvania men charged with dragging a Chambersburg Police officer down a borough street in February pleaded not guilty to charges that include criminal attempt to homicide Wednesday.

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Justin L. Souders, 19, of 1051 Hade Road, Chambersburg, and Charles W. Flory, 20, of 5347 Racetrack Road, waived their right to formal arraignment Wednesday, according to the Franklin County District Attorney's Office.

Their cases are scheduled for the July trial term in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas.

Souders was charged with criminal attempt to homicide, aggravated assault and conspiracy to aggravated assault.

Flory was charged with criminal attempt to homicide, aggravated assault, conspiracy to aggravated assault and fleeing.

Souders and Flory have been in Franklin County Prison since the Feb. 26 incident, which began with a traffic stop by Chambersburg Police Sgt. Glenn Manns.

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Manns approached a car, which was being driven by Flory, in the Southgate Mall at Cedar and Liberty streets in the borough and asked to see his driver's license, according to the affidavit of probable cause.

The driver began to rev the engine and Manns told him to place the car in neutral and turn off the engine. The driver refused to comply with either request and Manns place his hand on the operator, according to the affidavit.

The driver accelerated and another person in the car grabbed Manns' arm, the affidavit states.

During a preliminary hearing in March, Manns said he feared for his life.

He said he ran with the car for about 20 yards and then held onto the car with his right arm as long as he could to avoid being dragged as it traveled south on Cedar Street.

Manns said he released his grip when he reached for his gun. At the same time, his left arm was freed and he fell to the roadway and was run over by the car as it turned left onto Catherine Street, Manns said at the March hearing.

He said the incident lasted just about 10 seconds and his injuries included cuts and scrapes to his hand and injuries to his elbow and foot.

The car was driven from the scene.

Manns was treated and released from Chambersburg Hospital the same day.

Flory told police he fled the scene because he was driving on a suspended license, the affidavit alleges.

Souders' attorney, Madelaine Baturin, said at the preliminary hearing that Souders was not holding onto Manns' arm as the car accelerated. She said he was trying to free the officer's grasp from Flory as they drove away.

Souders was being held on $100,000 bail. Flory's bail was set at $300,000.

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