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Pa. man sentenced to 11 1/2 months for causing crash that killed two

September 11, 2012|By JENNIFER FITCH | waynesboro@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — A Waynesboro, Pa., man was sentenced Tuesday to nearly a year in jail for causing a Feb. 12, 2011, crash that killed two people in Blue Ridge Summit, Pa.

Shawn Tyler Lacasse, 27, entered a no-contest plea to a homicide by vehicle charge in the death of 64-year-old Ernest B. Angle of Waynesboro. By entering the plea, Lacasse acknowledged prosecutors had enough evidence to gain a conviction at trial.

Franklin County (Pa.) Court of Common Pleas Judge Shawn Meyers sentenced Lacasse to 11 1/2 months in Franklin County Jail. He will be eligible for work release.

After serving his sentence, Lacasse will undergo electronic monitoring for a year followed by standard probation supervision for about five years.

Meyers rejected a plea agreement offered by prosecution and defense attorneys, then called for a recess to see if the two sides could reach a new one. The initial agreement called for nine months in county jail with work release.

“I thought the sentence offered by counsel and the Commonwealth did not take into account the loss of two lives,” Meyers said.

Originally, Lacasse was charged with two counts of homicide by vehicle, racing on highways and speeding.

The 1 p.m. crash near the intersection of Pa. 16 and Old Route 16 also Lacasse’s then-fiancee, 25-year-old Amy Hummer. 

Lacasse told the judge he does not remember the collision or the moments beforehand. Still, he said he thinks about the crash every day.

“It’s just not the type of person I am. It’s not who I am or how I act,” he said.

Police said Lacasse’s vehicle was traveling between 64 and 77 mph at the time of impact in the 55-mph zone. A witness said Lacasse’s car was involved in a race with another vehicle.

Meyers said he received a letter from Hummer’s parents, who expressed forgiveness for Lacasse. Angle’s family wrote letters to the judge and addressed Lacasse in court.

Angle’s daughter, Sherri Sullivan of Waynesboro, described the plea offers as generous. She criticized Lacasse for not pleading guilty and accepting responsibility.

“What’s worse than him not remembering this horrific tragedy is my family and I will never forget it,” she said.

Sullivan said her children cry for their “pappy.”

Angle’s widow, Ruth, wrote a letter, saying she and her husband were happily anticipating what they would do in retirement.

“All the good things that were to be were shattered. All I’m left with are 50 years of memories,” she wrote in the letter read aloud in court.

Lacasse waved good-bye and blew a kiss to his family and girlfriend as he was led from the courtroom by sheriff’s deputies.

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