Case dropped in fatal Chanceford Twp. crash
A Chanceford Township man who caused a crash that killed his friend more than four years ago has been allowed to withdraw his guilty plea, and the case has been closed.
Fabian Wilbur Posey, 23, pleaded guilty in January 2016 to reckless endangerment, but sentencing was deferred for about a year.
That's because the prosecution gave Posey the chance to avoid conviction altogether in the death of his passenger, 17-year-old Shawn Michael Daugherty.
Farley Holt, Posey's defense attorney, told The York Dispatch a year ago that Posey was ordered to abide by a number of court conditions.
As long as he succeeded in following those conditions, he would be allowed to withdraw his guilty plea, and both misdemeanor charges filed against him — involuntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment — would be dismissed, Holt said at the time.
And that's what happened Thursday morning in York County Court when Posey appeared for his scheduled hearing.
He was allowed to withdraw his 2016 guilty plea to reckless endangerment, after which that charge and the involuntary manslaughter charge were dismissed and the case against him was closed, according to court records.
Posey's court-ordered requirements included completing 75 hours of community service; going to schools to talk about responsible driving; observing one victim-impact class, then leading a second class; attending a Drag Racing USA class; paying court costs; complying with his supervised bail; and "keeping his nose clean," Holt has said.
'Glowing reports': Chief deputy prosecutor Tim Barker said Posey did more than keep his nose clean.
"He did a terrific job on all the conditions we put on him," the prosecutor said.
Barker said his office received "glowing reports" about Posey, specifically about how seriously the young man took his court-ordered requirements.
"He ... has worked so hard in developing as a person and rehabilitating himself," Barker said. "This was a successful endeavor by all accounts."
Second chance: Holt agreed.
"He went above and beyond to do everything he had to do. He really did pour his heart into it," Holt said. "And now he gets a second chance. Hopefully, his military career won't be over."
Posey's status with the Army National Guard has been in limbo for the past year or so because of the case, the attorney said, and Posey is hoping to have a chance to continue with the Guard.
Holt said when Posey spoke at a victim-impact class, he had no idea Shawn's family would be attending and listening. It initially flustered him, but Posey did a great job, according to Holt.
Posey and Shawn were best friends, the attorney said.
Cried at plea hearing: When Posey pleaded guilty a year ago, he was finally able to apologize to Shawn's family, according to Holt.
"He broke down and cried," the attorney said. "It's been really, really hard on him. It's been eating him up."
Shawn, who lived on Collinsville Road in Chanceford Township, was killed June 11, 2012, when he was partially thrown from a Ford Ranger pickup truck and pinned underneath it, according to state police, who said Posey was 18 at the time and driving the truck.
It happened on Kauffman Lane, a private farm lane just off Collinsville Road, police have said.
Shawn had just completed his junior year at Red Lion Area High School and was a member of the class of 2013, a school district official said at the time.
Farm errand: Holt said the teens were on an errand and were driving from one farm to another.
"They were going to get an extension cord ... so they could plug in a hay-bale conveyor," the attorney said.
Shawn's cellphone recorded the moments before the crash and shows Posey shifting gears and accelerating, according to charging documents.
"I think it was an unfortunate, tragic accident," Holt said. "I don't think it was a crime."
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.