Vehicular homicide case may be retried

LEWISTOWN – A ruling by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Oct. 30, 2013, may have an impact on a case in Mifflin County involving a man convicted of vehicular homicide.

Carl D. Briggs, 44, is currently serving a six-to-12 year sentence at the State Correctional Institution in Pittsburgh.

At the conclusion of a three-day jury trial in September 2013, Briggs was convicted on two counts of vehicular homicide while driving under the influence in addition to two counts each of vehicular homicide and involuntary manslaughter, as well as one count of driving under the influence-general impairment. Briggs was found not guilty of two counts of DUI, which had to do with his alleged specific blood alcohol content at the time of the accident. Charges of aggravated assault while DUI were withdrawn by the prosecution.

Briggs was on trial for the deaths of 64-year-old Bruce E. Kauffman and 63-year-old Judy K. Kauffman, whom he struck with his SUV while they were riding their motorcycle at 4:40 p.m. Oct. 8, 2011, on U.S. 22-522 near McVeytown.

On Wednesday defense attorney Joseph Amendola requested a portion of the trial transcript pertaining to the testimony of Brian Seay, a representative with Quest Diagnostics.

During the trial, Amendola objected to the testimony of Seay, because he was not directly involved in the analysis of his client’s blood alcohol test at Quest, which is the premise of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court case in Commonwealth vs. Yohe. Amendola stated in his post sentencing motion that his client has a right to confrontation under the Sixth Amendment – specifically, the right to confront the person or persons involved in the analysis of Briggs’ blood. As a result, Amendola has requested the court grant a new trial for his client.

Amendola plans to review the testimony of Seay in moving forward with any further post sentencing motions.

Mifflin County District Attorney Dave Molek said if the court rules in favor of the defense, he would certainly retry the case.

Another hearing may occur in the next 30 days to conduct oral arguments in the case.