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Man accused of choking Eastern student headed to trial
The man accused of choking an Eastern York High School student in September is now facing trial in the York County Court of Common Pleas.
On Thursday, Timothy Hannah Jr., 23, of no fixed address, had his preliminary hearing, in which District Judge John H. Fishel determined there was enough evidence for Hannah to proceed to trial.
The public defender Hannah was assigned had a conflict of interest, which meant Hannah was without an attorney during the hearing.
Senior deputy prosecutor Liliana Garcia told Fishel during the hearing that Hannah had applied for a new public defender that day. However, Hannah still represented himself during the hearing, and he did not request a continuance or waive his right to a preliminary hearing.
Police have said that on Sept. 23, Hannah entered Eastern York High School, where he strangled a girl and prompted a lockdown of the school. Charging documents state Hannah was able to avoid capture by Lower Windsor Township Police that day.
Hannah eluded authorities until he was arrested in North Carolina in early December, police have said.
Victim: Garcia brought the alleged victim, who was 16 at the time, to testify.
The girl said she was in a relationship with Hannah at the time of the incident.
She said she had gotten a message from Hannah telling her he wanted to see her, and he asked her to meet him in the girls bathroom of the school.
She said she had met him in the bathroom when the two started arguing. The girl alleged that Hannah thought she was cheating on him.
"He choked me and pushed me up against the wall," she said.
After that, Hannah stopped and the student went back to class, she said. The teen said she didn't contact anyone else about the incident.
Later, she said, she saw Hannah in front of her classroom door, making "arm movements."
The girl said she talked to police later, after Hannah was seen on video with her.
At the hearing, Hannah asked her questions, including why he assaulted her and why she told him to come back to the school. The girl denied asking Hannah to return to the school.
Police chief: The second person called to the stand was Lower Windsor Township Police Chief Tim Caldwell, who responded to the incident at the time.
He said the school had called police saying a man, later identified as Hannah, was in the building.
"They had no idea who (he) was," he said. Caldwell said police were able to identify Hannah and found that he had two active warrants out for him in York City.
Caldwell said another official had made contact with Hannah, coordinating with him to return to the school later the day.
He said Hannah came to the northeastern edge of the school property, and Caldwell and another officer attempted to apprehend Hannah but were unsuccessful. Caldwell said Hannah ran across the street into a field.
"Mr. Hannah was faster than I was that day," Caldwell said, adding that Hannah had jumped through brush to avoid capture.
He said that during the attempt to apprehend Hannah, he had instructed him to stop and not run. Hannah did not have any questions for Caldwell.
Hannah tried to dispute a claim the teen girl had made, but Fishel stopped him, saying the preliminary hearing was only to determine if there is enough evidence to proceed to trial.
Afterward, Garcia declined comment because the case is still active.
Previous charges: Hannah is awaiting preliminary hearings on other charges in the county.
York City Police in early June filed charges against Hannah of simple assault, false imprisonment, making terroristic threats and harassment. Charging documents allege Hannah read the diary of a different underage girlfriend on June 1 and became jealous and angry.
While reading her diary aloud, Hannah punched the 16-year-old girl and struck her on both sides of her head with an extension cord, documents allege. Police said the assault lasted about an hour, at which point the girl grabbed for her phone to call 911.
His preliminary hearing for that case is set for 2 p.m. March 30 at District Judge James H. Morgan's office.
Hannah also was on the run for other alleged crimes in York County, two of which allegedly involved underage girls.
He fled on foot from a vehicle stop in York City on May 12 — leaving behind a "juvenile female passenger," according to court documents that state he was wanted at the time on charges of possession of drug paraphernalia and access device fraud. He was driving with a suspended license, his car had no insurance and wasn't registered, and the registration he was using was for a different vehicle, according to police.
Hannah fled from York City Police again Aug. 6 after officers found him with an underage girl in a condemned city home, charging documents state.
In that case, officers were called to 150 W. King St. for a trespassing report. The property had been condemned and declared uninhabitable by city officials after a fire there, police said.
Officers found a teenage runaway in a third-floor bedroom, then found Hannah hiding in a closet in the same bedroom, documents state. Hannah fled on foot and got away, police said.
His preliminary hearing for that case is set for 10 a.m. March 17 at District Judge Joel N. Toluba's office.
Hannah has lived in the first block of South West Street, the 300 block of West King Street and the 200 block of Carlisle Avenue, according to court records.
Hannah remains in York County Prison in lieu of $60,000 bail total in all of his cases.