Trial postponed for Hagerstown man charged in fatal accident

Robert Daniel Hilliard Jr. is charged in the death of Richard Burchfield II

January 19, 2012

The trial for a Hagerstown man indicted for homicide by motor vehicle in the October death of a Pennsylvania motorcyclist was postponed Thursday during a brief appearance in Washington County Circuit Court.

Robert Daniel Hilliard Jr., 26, of 1010 Bramly Court was scheduled for a hearing on defense motions Thursday, with his trial set for Monday in the Hagerstown court.

Assistant Public Defender Charles Bailey said there was a joint request for the postponement by the defense and prosecution during what was to have been a motions hearing.

The defense had received discovery evidence from the state Thursday and more time was needed to examine it to determine if there were suppression issues, Bailey said. No new trial date was set, he said.

Hilliard, who appeared before Judge Donald E. Beachley wearing a T-shirt, blue jeans and leg shackles, is charged in the death of Richard Burchfield II, 45, of Oil City, Pa. Burchfield was riding a motorcycle on Eastern Boulevard on Oct. 6 when a Honda sedan struck the rear of a Ford Focus, forcing the Focus into Burchfield's motorcycle.

The impact pushed Burchfield and the motorcycle under a sport utility vehicle. Burchfield died the next day at Meritus Medical Center near Hagerstown.

The Honda was driven from the scene, but investigators with the Washington County Sheriff's Office found its front license plate under the Ford Focus and traced it to a relative of Hilliard's. Hilliard was later arrested at her home, according to charging documents.

Besides two counts of homicide by vehicle, Hilliard was also indicted for manslaughter by motor vehicle; negligent manslaughter; criminal manslaughter; causing life-threatening injury while impaired by drugs; causing life-threatening injury while impaired by a controlled dangerous substance; failure to immediately stop at the scene of an accident involving bodily injury; driving under the influence of alcohol; driving a vehicle while impaired by drugs or alcohol; and several traffic offenses, court records said.

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