Battle Over Evidence Continues As Hit-run Trial Approaches
WILKES-BARRE — With the trial date approaching in the long-anticipated hit-and-run trial against Daniel Loughnane, legal wrangling continued this week over what evidence jurors will hear.
Loughnane, 46, of Hanover Twp., has been awaiting trial on a felony hit-and-run charge ever since Rebecca McCallick, 19, was run over on Hazle Street in Wilkes-Barre on July 24, 2012. Prosecutors allege Loughnane struck McCallick, who had been using marijuana and lying in the street, while on his way home from the Gentleman’s Club 10 strip club in Wilkes-Barre Twp.
Legal battles over the seizure of Loughnane’s Ford F-350 Super Duty have long delayed the case. Loughnane eventually won that argument, with appellate judges ruling the warrantless seizure was not justified.
Now the defense is seeking to prevent jurors from hearing any identification of Loughnane’s truck, a move that prosecutors are fighting by noting that an eyewitness saw the vehicle that hit McCallick and then observed Loughnane’s truck in his driveway prior to the seizure.
“It defies both settled Pennsylvania law and settled logic to conclude that events that occurred prior to the seizure could taint events that occurred prior thereto,” prosecutors wrote in a filing Wednesday.
Prosecutors conceded that the witness cannot testify about the sound identification he made on the truck at the police station, but maintain he should still be permitted to testify about the sights and sounds of the vehicle that hit McCallick.
The trial before Luzerne County Judge Michael T. Vough is set to begin Oct. 15.
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