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Arraignment rescheduled for Pa. man charged in neighbor's shooting death

July 28, 2010|By JENNIFER FITCH

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -- Arraignment has been rescheduled for a Blue Ridge Summit, Pa., man charged with criminal homicide in the shooting death of his neighbor.

Michael Peter Harrigan, 29, made a brief appearance before Franklin County (Pa.) Judge Douglas Herman in court Wednesday.

Assistant District Attorney Jeremiah Zook told Herman the prosecution and defense agreed to a pre-trial conference. Herman said he'd reschedule arraignment to coincide with that conference.

Herman explained to Harrigan that his arraignment on Aug. 11 will include a reading of charges, scheduling information and a "complete explanation of your rights from this point forward." Because of the seriousness of the charge, Herman said he wouldn't allow Harrigan to waive his arraignment.

The scheduling conference will allow for further discussion about trial or disposition, Herman said.

Hagerstown attorney James Reed is representing Harrigan, who is being held in Franklin County Jail without bail.

Harrigan, of 13799 Blue Ridge Ave., was charged by Washington Township, Pa., police in the May 27 shooting death of his neighbor, 47-year-old Steven Wetzel. Police said the first officer responding to the neighborhood, near the Mason-Dixon Line in Blue Ridge Summit, saw a man in the roadway and determined he was dead.

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In an affidavit of probable cause, police allege Harrigan told them the two men were arguing before the early morning shooting.

Police said they retrieved a shotgun from Harrigan's home.

Arraignment will allow Harrigan to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty.

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