The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


October 16, 2013

Man accused of texting in fatal crash waives hearing

EBENSBURG — Austin Molinich, the Nanty Glo man charged with homicide by vehicle and related charges in the 2012 death of a Conemaugh Township man and his granddaughter, waived his right to a preliminary hearing Wednesday.

All charges will be sent directly to Cambria County court with the understanding that the right to a preliminary hearing at that level has been preserved, said defense attorney Thomas Dickey.

The scene at the Richland Township office District Judge Max Pavlovich was tense as family members of Molinich gathered at the front of the office and family members of the victims were taken to a back room.

Negotiations went on for more than an hour between Dickey and Cambria County First Assistant District Attorney Heath Long.

Waiving the hearing was done, in part, both attorneys said, in the hopes of defusing the high emotions of both sides.

Molinich, 20, was driving a 2005 Chevrolet Silverado pickup north of Frankstown Road in the area of Brewer Road, when he crossed the center line and struck a Volkswagen pickup truck driven by Donald Evans, 71, and his granddaughter Cassandra Singer, 19, of Northumberland County.

Police maintain Molinich was texting at the time, an allegation he denies.


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