Judge refuses to drop murder count
BELLEFONTE (AP) — A central Pennsylvania judge has ruled that a woman accused of “huffing” from a can of dust cleaner before a fatal crash can be charged with murder.
Danielle Packer, 22, of Bellefonte, faces 18 counts including third-degree murder, vehicular homicide while under the influence, aggravated assault and involuntary manslaughter.
The Centre Daily Times reported public defender Deborah Lux asked a Centre County district judge to drop the murder charge in the August 2012 Benner Township crash that killed Matthew Snyder, 25, of Howard. She said the evidence might support negligence and recklessness but not malice.
District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller said the charge was proper, calling Packer the “instrument of death” in the case.
Judge Leslie Dutchcot upheld all charges, saying “the required culpability elements have been met.”