April trial date set for man accused in crash that killed Hagerstown woman

February 28, 2012

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — The trial of a Martinsburg man accused of drunken driving in a nearly two-year-old case involving the death of a Hagerstown woman was rescheduled to April 24.

23rd Judicial Circuit Judge Gray Silver III said at a status hearing Monday that the April trial date will hold for Jeffrey Wayne McKinney “unless an act of God” interferes.

McKinney, 38, of 126 Ramblin Rose Lane, has waived his right to a speedy trial “multiple times,” said Silver, who agreed to move the trial to April at the request of defense attorney Harley O. Wagner.

Among reasons for the continued delays are questions concerning evidence, forensic laboratory work and technical issues, and testimony from expert witnesses, court officials said.

McKinney was indicted in May 2010 on a single count of driving under the influence causing death and failure to yield in a March 18, 2010, crash that claimed the life of Mary Frances Punt, 57. 

Punt was northbound on U.S. 11 after a church function. She died at the scene.

According to police records, McKinney admitted to drinking five or six beers the night of the accident. It occurred at about 11:30 p.m. at the intersection of U.S. 11 and Berkeley Station Road.

McKinney was not injured in the crash, police said.

— Richard F. Belisle

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