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Bader sentenced on homicide by vehicle charge

March 07, 2002|BY STACEY DANZUSO

A Greencastle, Pa., man was sentenced Wednesday to serve at least 111/2 months in the county jail for the 1999 death of a Waynesboro, Pa., man who was killed when the car on which he was hanging struck a building.

Robert Bader, 21, of 15798 Sherwood Drive, in January pleaded no contest to charges of homicide by vehicle and simple assault in the Aug. 5, 1999, death of Robert E. Meyer Jr., 20.

Under a no-contest plea, a defendant does not admit guilt but offers no defense.

In exchange for his plea, charges of criminal homicide, attempted murder, aggravated assault and driving under the influence were dropped.

Court records said Meyer was hanging onto a car Bader was driving when the car struck a hair styling salon on West Main Street.

The coroner determined Meyer died of blunt force trauma, but also found that Meyer had been stabbed in the chest and shoulder. Police have never determined who inflicted the stab wounds, according to court records.

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Meyer's mother, Maureen Meyer, and his grandmother, Faye Gardell, addressed the court Wednesday.

"This has destroyed my marriage. It has taken a toll on us and I want (Bader) to know that," Maureen Meyer said.

Bader declined to make a statement during the sentencing hearing.

Bader's 111/2- to 23-month sentence was part of the plea agreement, defense attorney Mike Toms said.

Judge Carol Van Horn also sentenced Bader to spend 36 months on probation at the end of the local jail term and ordered him to pay a $200 fine to the county and make restitution to Maureen Meyer. Bader will be eligible for work release.

Bader also was sentenced to 24 months probation and a $150 fine on the simple assault charge.

Meyer's family said after the hearing the sentence was not as stiff as they thought it should be.

"If (his punishment) isn't here on earth, I always say 'God takes care of everything,'" Gardell said.

Shayne Meyer said her brother left behind a son who is now 5 years old.

Van Horn said she was convinced that the Franklin County District Attorney's Office conducted a thorough investigation, but said questions remain unanswered.

"Perhaps we will never know what happened that night," she said.

Police allege Bader had driven to a party on Aug. 5, 1999, on Lincoln Avenue, but people at the party began yelling for him to leave. He drove to the intersection of West Main Street and Fairview Avenue and began yelling back at the people at the party, according to court records.

Meyer walked over to Bader's car and the two "exchanged words," according to court records. Meyer reached in the driver's side window and Bader drove off with Meyer hanging from the side, hitting several parking meters and an embankment before hitting the side of Snips Etc. at 331 W. Main St., records show.

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