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The York Haven man who police say struck a Northeastern High School junior with his car last April, killing her, faces trial in county court.

During his preliminary hearing Monday, District Judge Scott Gross determined there was enough evidence that David Michael Kent Jr., 24, can face trial in the York County Court of Common Pleas.

Kent, of 15 Susquehanna Ave., is accused of hitting 16-year-old Abigail Osborn with his car while driving home in the early-morning hours of April 23. She was taken to Penn State Hershey Medical Center, where she died the next day.

Abigail was a junior at Northeastern High School.

Police charged Kent with accidents involving death or personal injury, tampering with physical evidence and three summary traffic violations. All charges were held for court.

Hit: Newberry Township Police were sent to the 3400 block of York Haven Road  about 1 a.m. April 23 for a report of a person lying on the road.

When police arrived, Abigail was found with severe head trauma, and she was taken to Penn State Hershey Medical Center.

Police say  plastic debris consistent with a broken headlamp was found at the scene. That morning, a friend of Abigail's informed police that he found a vehicle parked on Susquehanna Avenue in York Haven that seemed suspicious because it was covered. 

That friend told police that he saw damage to the passenger side front of the vehicle, including a broken headlamp, documents state.

 

Police found the vehicle's owner, who is the father of Kent's girlfriend. Police say he told them that the vehicle is used by his daughter, who lives with her boyfriend.

Kent: Officials spoke with Kent and his girlfriend, and Kent told them he was driving the car the night before, when they were returning from a party in Hanover, documents state.

Kent told police he drove north on York Haven Road when he struck an object, which he initially believed was a mailbox, documents state. He said he didn't stop and went home, where he covered the vehicle, police said.

Patrick Lauer Jr., Kent's attorney, said Tuesday afternoon that Kent initially thought he had struck a deer.

“Mr. Kent told them initially he basically thought he sideswiped a deer," he said, adding that he thinks further discovery will get into that.

He said his client feels terrible about the situation and that Kent had no idea that he had hit someone.

“I think everybody knows that this is a tragedy for both sides of this case," he said.

Lauer also said that Kent was not under the influence of anything when he was driving.

 

“There’s no alcohol, no drugs, no speeding, and the bottom line is he did not think he hit a person," he said.

He said there are about 20 statements from people that night who say Kent wasn't drinking.

“This isn’t a thing where someone was fleeing the scene to get out of a DUI," he said.

Lauer said his client faces a three-year sentence for his charges. 

Kent's formal arraignment is scheduled for 9 a.m. Aug. 18. Lauer said Kent intends to plead not guilty then.

He remains free on $30,000 bail.

— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at cdornblaser@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.

 

 

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