Hagerstown man gets 30 months after pleading guilty in death of motorcyclist

Robert Daniel Hilliard also pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident and driving while impaired in crash that killed 45-year-old Richard Burchfield II

April 10, 2012|By DON AINES |
  • Hilliard

A Washington County Circuit Court judge Tuesday sentenced a Hagerstown man to 30 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the 2011 death of a Pennsylvania motorcyclist.

Robert Daniel Hilliard, 26, of 1010 Bramly Court also pleaded guilty before Judge M. Kenneth Long Jr. to leaving the scene of an accident and driving while impaired by drugs, or alcohol and drugs in the Oct. 6 accident that killed 45-year-old Richard Burchfield II of Oil City, Pa.

Long gave Hilliard three years in state prison on the manslaughter charge, suspending six months of the sentence, according to court records.

Hilliard also received a consecutive one-year suspended sentence for leaving the scene of an accident and a 60-day concurrent sentence on the driving impaired charge, court records said.

Hilliard was given 186 days credit for time served, the records said.

Long also ordered Hilliard to spend three years in supervised probation following his release, the records said.


Burchfield’s widow submitted a victim-impact statement, but she elected not to be present for the hearing, Deputy State’s Attorney Steven Kessell said after the hearing.

Hilliard will be back in circuit court on April 30 on charges that he conspired to possess and distribute narcotics while in the detention center. Those charges were filed while he was in the center awaitingdisposition of the vehicular manslaughter case, the records said.

The accident occurred shortly before 1 p.m. in Oct. 6 on Eastern Boulevard, just north of Md. 64, according to charging documents filed by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

Hilliard was driving a Honda that struck the rear of a Ford Focus, forcing it into Burchfield’s motorcycle, the charging documents said.

The impact forced Burchfield’s motorcycle under a Jeep Cherokee. Hilliard, who had children in the car with him, drove from the scene, the documents said.

The front license plate of the Honda, which was registered to Hilliard’s mother, was found at the crash scene, and police found Hilliard at the Bramly Court address, the documents said.

Hilliard tested positive for having methadone and other drugs in his system following his arrest, Kessell said after the hearing.

Hilliard’s blood-alcohol level was initially .01 percent, below the legal intoxication limit in Maryland of .08 percent, the documents said.

Hilliard had admitted to drinking the night before the accident and to taking a drink the morning of the crash, Kessell said after the hearing.

As part of the plea agreement, other charges were dismissed, including manslaughter, negligent homicide by vehicle, causing an accident involving life-threatening injuries, driving under the influence and several traffic violations, court records said.

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