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Second judge rejects plea deal

November 13, 2003|by DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

A second Franklin County judge has rejected a plea agreement in the case of a former Waynesboro, Pa., man charged in a 2002 accident in which a Tennessee woman was killed, according to Assistant District Attorney T.R. Williams.

Peter Matthew Shumway, 23, of 120 Reynolds Ave., Mont Alto, Pa., made a brief court appearance Wednesday afternoon before Judge Carol Van Horn during which his case was scheduled for a jury trial during the January trial term.

Shumway tentatively had been scheduled to appear before President Judge John R. Walker for a possible plea agreement, but "Judge Walker declined to accept the plea," Williams said.

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On Aug. 20, Shumway pleaded no contest to a charge of accidents involving death or serious injury, a third-degree felony with a seven-year maximum sentence, according to court records.

As part of the plea agreement, the prosecution had agreed to recommend a sentence of 90 days in jail and 90 days of house arrest followed by probation.

Shumway was scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 1 before Judge Douglas W. Herman, but Herman refused to accept the agreement and the recommended sentence.

"I can't find a good reason why the agreement has been entered into ... death has occurred," Herman said at the time. Because a person died in the accident, Herman said he felt the applicable section of the law would require a one-year minimum sentence.

Waynesboro Police records allege that Shumway was the driver of a Volkswagen Jetta that went through a flashing red light at the intersection of South Potomac and West Main streets on the morning of Nov. 1, 2002, striking the passenger side of a GMC van.

An occupant of the van, Qiquang Dong, 50, of Crosswell, Tenn., was pronounced dead at the scene of the 12:16 a.m. accident, according to court records.

Shumway left the scene of the accident following the arrival of police and ambulance personnel, court records allege. He did not contact police for several hours after the accident and was not tested for the presence of alcohol or drugs, court records say.

Shumway was not charged until the beginning of this year. The affidavit of probable cause stated that before the crash, witnesses saw Shumway at two Waynesboro-area taverns, where he had "several drinks at both establishments."

On Oct. 1, Herman said one could infer from that information that there was an effort to "conceal evidence of a crime."

Shumway was scheduled to appear before Walker on Wednesday, Nov. 5, but after a meeting in Walker's chambers with Williams and defense attorney David S. Keller, the matter was postponed until Wednesday.

Keller asked Van Horn on Wednesday to withdraw Shumway's request for a waiver of a jury trial. Jury selection is tentatively scheduled for Jan. 12, according to Williams.

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