Judge says man's second vehicular homicide trial can move forward
A West Manchester Township man accused of causing the death of a construction worker in a work zone two years ago will face a retrial.
Through his attorney, Aaron Miller, 41, sought to have the vehicular homicide case against him dismissed.
But a judge decided there is enough evidence for prosecutors to take him to trial a second time.
Miller is charged with counts of vehicular homicide, involuntary manslaughter, reckless driving, careless driving and careless driving causing unintentional death.
He was driving an SUV when investigators said the vehicle drifted through a construction zone in the 400 block of Carlisle Avenue and struck Joshua Bishop from behind in May 2020. The 34-year-old from Lancaster County was working traffic control in the area when he was killed.
Miller seemed groggy after the crash, police said, and investigators suspect he may have fallen asleep at the wheel. He was heading to a doctor’s appointment after working 16 hours at an Air Force base in Willow Grove, Montgomery County, court documents show.
Investigators found he wasn’t distracted by his mobile phone, and that he was driving about 36 mph when Bishop was struck. The investigation also found Miller didn’t brake or try to avoid the collision.
Miller first went to trial in April. It ended in a mistrial after two days when his attorney, Christopher Ferro, argued a prosecution witness gave non-responsive statements that implicated Miller’s right to remain silent.
Ferro then filed a petition to dismiss the case. He argued the York County District Attorney’s Office didn’t have enough evidence to begin with to win a conviction on the homicide and the manslaughter counts.
He also said prosecutors failed to prove Miller acted recklessly in order to meet elements of the charges, saying the theory that he fell asleep was speculative.
Following a hearing on the issue in August, Common Pleas Judge Harry Ness disagreed with Ferro.
He found the evidence does hold up to the elements of the charges through the testimony of expert crash scene investigators.
Ness denied Ferro’s petition on Aug. 30, court documents show.
Ferro did not respond to a request for comment, and the DA’s Office declined to comment on the case.
Court records don’t indicate the scheduling for the next hearing in the case.
— Reach Aimee Ambrose at email@example.com or on Twitter at @aimee_TYD.