The Week in Review...

The Week in Review for the week of January 27, 2014.

The Eighth Dauphin County Investigating Grand Jury issues the findings of its investigation into the Susquehanna Township School District handling of sexual abuse allegations. 

Murder charges filed in September 19, 2013, shooting death in Harrisburg

Man re-sentenced in Swatara Township attempted homicide case: Commonwealth v. Kwame L. Barnes - Kwame Barnes appeared before Dauphin County Judge Deborah Curcillo on Thursday, January 30, 2014, to be re-sentenced after the Superior Court overturned a portion of his original sentence.  Barnes appealed Judge Curcillo's original 25 year to 50 year sentence.  The Superior Court ruled that Barne's conviction for Aggravated Assault merged with his Criminal Attempt Homicide conviction and therefore ordered Judge Curcillo  to resentence Barnes.  In resentencing Barnes, Judge Curcillo fashioned a sentence to reflect the merged charges but also restructured the sentence to once again give him cumulative sentence of 25 years to 50 years in the state prison.

  • Barnes was convicted on February 28, 2012, for strangling his ex-girlfriend and leaving her for dead in a Swatara Township recycling bin under the State Street Bridge in Harrisburg.  Testimony at trial established that Barnes was in the 17 year old victim's home when he tried to kill her by beating her and then putting her in a headlock type stranglehold.  The victim lost consciousness and Barnes thought she was dead.  When the victim regained consciousness Barnes again strangled her until he once again he thought he had killed her.  He then put her body in the recycling bin and attempted to hide her body under the State Street Bridge.  After Barnes drove away the victim regained consciousness and made her was to the street where she flagged down a passing motorist.  Chief Deputy District Attorney Seán M. McCormack prosecuted this case for the Commonwealth.        

Murder trial begins Monday, February 3, 2014:  Commonwealth v. Stephen Davis - The murder trial of Stephen Davis is scheduled to begin Monday February 3, 2014, before Dauphin County Judge Richard A. Lewis.  Davis is accused of participating in the December 4, 2012, shooting death of Luis Diaz in the 1100 block of Cloverly Rd., Harrisburg.  Jury selection in this case was completed on January 15, 2014.  The trial testimony is expected to commence on February 3, 2014.  The case is being prosecuted by Senior Deputy District Attorney John Baer.   Note:  Davis' charges are an accusation at this time and he is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Lisa Kneer was found guilty of offering for sale an illegal turtle necklace on January 27, 2014 by the Honorable Bernard L. Coates, Jr.  following a summary appeal hearing.  The defendant attempted to sell a necklace made from parts of a box turtle during the Kipona festival in Harrisburg.  Pennsylvania law forbids the commercialization of native species of the state in whole or in part.   Previous hearings in this matter have been reported by the Patriot-News  This case was handled by Deputy District Attorney Phillip C. Kirchner

Lynda Farley was found guilty of operating a vehicle with an obstructed view on January 27, 2014 by the Honorable Bernard L. Coates, Jr. following a summary appeal hearing.  Ms. Farley’s van, seen below, had signage blocking all but the windshield and front two windows.  The windshield and front two windows did have statutes, stickers, and decorations hanging around the periphery.  A picture of Farley's car is posted below.  This case was handled by Deputy District Attorney Phillip C. Kirchner.