Modified lockdown coming at York County Prison

Man guilty in crash that nearly killed York City mother of two

Liz Evans Scolforo
505-5429/@LizScolforoYD

A Newberry Township man has pleaded guilty to using heroin immediately before crashing a car into a 28-year-old mother of two and nearly killing her.

Tyler James Connelly is facing a lengthy prison sentence, according to his defense attorney, Korey Leslie, and chief deputy prosecutor Tim Barker.

Tyler James Connelly

Cheyann Miller, now 29, spent a week in a medically induced coma after she was struck Aug. 10 while unloading groceries in front of her home on Roosevelt Avenue in York City.

When she awoke, she discovered her right leg had been amputated above the knee and her left leg was badly mangled.

Miller has told The York Dispatch she died on the operating table for 23 minutes before being revived. She has just recently begun to learn to walk with a prosthetic leg.

Connelly, 26, of 700 Cassell Road, Lot 27, didn't swerve or brake before the 4 p.m. crash, according to York City Police. He has been held in York County Prison since his arrest.

Connelly appeared Monday in York County Court, where he pleaded guilty to aggravated assault, aggravated assault by motor vehicle while driving under the influence, causing an accident involving death or personal injury, aggravated assault by vehicle, careless driving, driving on a suspended license/DUI related and DUI/third or subsequent offense.

Getting high: He told presiding Common Pleas Judge Maria Musti Cook that he'd used heroin and benzodiazepines and also had cocaine in his system when he got behind the wheel.

"At the time I wasn't thinking about anything else but getting high," Connelly told the judge.

Crash victim takes first steps toward reclaiming her life

Leslie, the defense attorney, said in court that Connelly had used multiple bags of heroin and nodded off while he was driving.

"Did you see her before you struck her?" Cook asked.

"No, ma'am," Connelly replied.

Six months after being struck by a driver allegedly under the influence and losing her right leg, Cheyann Miller of York takes her first steps thanks to a prosthesis, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017.   John A. Pavoncello photo

Other cases: Also Monday, Connelly pleaded guilty in two other cases to charges of conspiracy to commit retail theft and forgery, for shoplifting and forging a check. Additionally, he has a number of probation violations for which he must be sentenced as well.

His prison time for those probation violations could run concurrently or consecutively to his prison sentence for hitting Miller, Leslie said.

Cook set sentencing for 1:30 p.m. April 21 and ordered a full pre-sentence report be compiled for her to review.

The plea was an open plea, meaning it will be up to Cook to determine the proper punishment.

Leslie said his client doesn't remember hitting Miller.

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Barker said he expects Connelly will receive a lengthy prison sentence.

"There's a wide range of sentencing that could occur here ... and all of it is long," Barker said. "She almost died. It was an extremely, extremely serious crash."

Miller is expected to speak in court at Connelly's sentencing hearing, the prosecutor confirmed.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.