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Vehicular homicide case to start Tuesday in Chambersburg

March 27, 2011|By JENNIFER FITCH | waynesboro@herald-mail.com
  • Gerald T. Buterbaugh
Gerald T. Buterbaugh

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — Tuesday morning is the scheduled start for the trial of a Fulton County, Pa., man charged with criminal homicide in the Memorial Day 2010 death of a man hit by a vehicle outside a Metal Township, Pa., bar.

Gerald T. Buterbaugh, 42, of Hustontown, Pa., is accused of hitting 32-year-old Dale Steven Henry with his pickup truck after an argument May 31, 2010. Henry, of Burnt Cabins, Pa., was flown to Altoona (Pa.) Regional Hospital, where he was pronounced brain dead.

According to online court documents, the jury trial has been scheduled for six to seven days before Judge Richard J. Walsh. Those documents state the prosecution identified about 75 potential witnesses but now plans to use a shorter list, and the defense expects to call fewer than 10 witnesses.

Among evidence disclosed in court documents is a video re-enactment of the events provided by the prosecution.

A witness reported seeing Henry involved in an argument with a man who got into what was thought to be a 1980s-model green truck. The witness said the truck backed out of the parking lot, pulled forward and ran over Henry, Pennsylvania State Police said in an affidavit of probable cause filed in the case.

The truck continued west on Fannettsburg Road toward Fulton County, Pa., after hitting Henry, the affidavit said.

“An observer” followed the truck and obtained the license plate number, police wrote in the affidavit.

The tag was registered to Buterbaugh and a 1986 Ford truck, according to the affidavit.

Buterbaugh went to the state police barrack in McConnellsburg, Pa., later that day and said he understood police wanted to speak to him, police said in the affidavit.

Buterbaugh said one of his friends had been beaten during a fight outside the bar and he was angry about it, police said in the affidavit.

While leaving the area, Buterbaugh drove toward the crowd of people who injured his friend, struck the victim and fled the scene, police alleged in the affidavit.

“Buterbaugh explained he was trying to push the victim off the road and scare him with his truck,” police wrote in the affidavit.

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