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Murder trial set for May term

January 30, 2009

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -- V'Cetres Dalrone Buckner, charged in the Aug. 6 shooting death of a borough man, had his case scheduled for the May trial term after entering a not guilty plea this week before Judge Carol Van Horn in Franklin County Court.

Buckner, 18, of 207 Larch Ave., faces the death penalty if convicted of first-degree murder in the killing of 42-year-old Timothy A. Short, whose body was found in a yard on Hemlock Circle. Short was shot once in the face, according to the Chambersburg Police Department.

When Buckner last appeared for mandatory arraignment, it was continued because the attorney who represented him was not certified to handle a death penalty case. On Wednesday, he was represented by attorney Justin McShane of Harrisburg, Pa.

Assistant District Attorney Angela Krom previously filed a notice of aggravating circumstances, a requirement in order to seek the death penalty in Pennsylvania. In this case, it was for a homicide committed in the course of a felony.

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The charges relating to Short's death are criminal homicide and robbery. He also is charged with theft, receiving stolen property and criminal conspiracy to receive stolen property, charges related to the theft of the handgun police believe was used in the killing.

Krom also filed a motion to try Buckner on all of the charges as one case since they were part of one continuing criminal episode.

Buckner was charged with Short's death Aug. 17, a day after a stolen .40-caliber handgun was found in a woman's car during a traffic stop. The woman said the gun belonged to her boyfriend, convicted felon Derrick Wimberley, who told police he bought the weapon Aug. 14 from two men for $300. He identified one of the men as Buckner.

At the time the handgun was sold, police had the South Hackberry Drive house where the transaction took place under surveillance, according to the affidavit of probable cause.

On Aug. 4, two days before Short was killed, the handgun was reported stolen from the vehicle of a Chambersburg man, police said.

Detective Scott Mummert testified at Buckner's preliminary hearing last year that Buckner admitted to the shooting during a videotaped interview, but stated the gun went off as he was taking Short's wallet. Mummert testified that Buckner said Short approached him earlier to buy drugs and that Buckner told Short to meet him on Hemlock Circle.

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