Saturday, July 12, 2014

Prosecution has vendetta against hit-run suspect, lawyer says

Attorney Peter Paul Olszewski Jr. calls treatment of Daniel Loughnane ‘vindictive.’

July 27. 2013 12:41AM

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WILKES-BARRE — A request by prosecutors to revoke the bail of a man charged in a fatal hit-and-run case is a “unprofessional” and “vindictive” response to his refusal to plead guilty in the case, a defense attorney said in court papers.

Daniel Loughnane, 40, of West Liberty Street, Hanover Township, faces a bail hearing Wednesday after prosecutors requested he be jailed for violating terms of his bail.

Wilkes-Barre police charged Loughnane in the hit-and-run death of Rebecca McCallick, 19, in front of 199 Hazle Ave. on July 24, 2012. McCallick died at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center.

Loughnane is scheduled to stand trial in March.

Deputy District Attorney Alexis Falvello previously had written in court papers that Loughnane has repeatedly made contact with his son’s mother in a number of phone calls and phone messages, and during a May 30 concert at their son’s school.

Luzerne County Judge Richard Hughes previously ruled Loughnane is not to have contact with Jessie Spencer unless it involves custody matters of their son.

Attorney Peter Paul Olszewski Jr. compared the District Attorney’s Office to a “blind pack of rats” being led by the Pied Piper in the children’s fairy tale. The Pied Piper in this case, Olszewski wrote, is Spencer.

“The filing of the commonwealth’s petition to revoke bail was not filed until after (Olszewski) advised the commonwealth that Mr. Loughnane had no intentions of pleading guilty to any charge related to the death of Rebecca McCallick,” Olszewski wrote.

The revocation request, Olszewski wrote, is an “irresponsible, unprofessional and vindictive” response to Loughnane’s refusal to plead guilty and a “misguided and unfortunate effort” to delay Loughnane’s liberty “in an effort to coerce Mr. Loughnane into pleading guilty to a crime he did not commit.”

Olszewski wrote that Loughnane did not violate any terms of his bail conditions and has only contacted Spencer to make arrangements regarding their son.

Olszewski explains the May 30 incident at a school concert was all a matter of attempting to avoid Spencer.

The defense attorney said it is not a violation of Loughnane’s bail to be at his son’s school for a concert, to park his car in a parking lot and to delay leaving the school to avoid any contact with Spencer.

Prosecutors also alleged Loughnane followed Spencer on back roads. “It is apparent that Jessie Spencer is exhibiting signs and symptoms of a paranoid personality disorder … and operating outside the scope of reality,” Olszewski wrote.

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