CLEARFIELD – The case against a Madera man charged with homicide by vehicle while DUI was the subject of a hearing Friday in Clearfield County Court.
Gregory Allen Millinder Jr., 32, is also charged with aggravated assault by vehicle while DUI, homicide by vehicle, DUI, involuntary manslaughter, endangering the welfare of children, recklessly endangering another person and four traffic summaries in connection to a traffic accident July 2 on state Route 53 in Woodward Township.
It involved three vehicles including a Chevrolet BelAir whose driver suffered serious injuries and a passenger who was pronounced dead at the scene.
David Shrager, attorney for Millinder, filed a motion to suppress blood test results and to dismiss all charges, based on the claim there was not enough evidence presented at the preliminary hearing.
According to previous reports, the blood test showed Millinder was under the influence of amphetamine, methamphetamine and Clonazepam at the time of the accident.
Trooper Dennis Peters testified during a hearing Friday before Judge Fredric J. Ammerman that a witness at the scene told him Millinder’s Jeep Wrangler was traveling back and forth in the northbound lane before it struck a Chevrolet Corvette that swerved to avoid the impact.
The Jeep then allegedly struck the Chevrolet BelAir head-on.
After speaking with Millinder, Peters felt he was under the influence and took him to the police barracks for an evaluation from a Drug Recognition Expert who agreed with him.
While still at the scene, Peters stated that Millinder admitted to taking Klonopin a few days prior to this.
Under questioning by Assistant District Attorney Jendi Schwab, Peters said Millinder was cooperative and agreed to the blood test. Peters said he read the standard form with his rights regarding blood tests to Millinder.
Lyle Dresbold, another attorney on the case, asked Peters during cross examination if Millinder gave another version of the crash to which Peters replied that Millinder claimed the cars were in his lane.
Dresbold asked if Peters was an accident reconstructionist and after Peters said no, Dresbold commented that Peters would then not be able to tell what happened during the crash.
Peters noted that he knows the sun and the sky even though he is not an astronomer.
Peters also said the gouges in the ground from the accident verified the witness’ account.
Dresbold then asked specific questions regarding his observations of Millinder that led Peters to believe he was under the influence.
He testified that Millinder was consuming a lot of water and appeared when he talked, as if his mouth was dry. He was also shaking, his eyelids were droopy and his pupils were constricted, all indications of being under the influence, Peters said.
Dresbold noted that Peters would not know how Millinder appears or talks on a normal basis.
He then asked if Millinder sustained any injuries in the crash. Peters said he was not aware of any, but agreed it was possible Millinder could have had a head injury.
Earlier in the hearing, Peters stated that when he asked Millinder if he or his daughter, a passenger in his vehicle, needed medical attention, he said no and they were fine.
Dresbold commented that if Millinder was impaired, that Peters got permission from an impaired person for the blood test.
When Dresbold stated that Peters’ experience is more with drivers under the influence of alcohol than drugs, Peters corrected him by saying now there are almost equal numbers of the two types of cases in this area.
Peters testified that he has handled over 300 DUI cases.
During re-direct questioning from Schwab, Peters confirmed that although Millinder was under the influence of something, Peters felt Millinder understood him and spoke coherently.
A second part of the defense motion claims that there was not enough evidence presented for this case at the preliminary hearing and asks for all of the charges to be dropped.
At the preliminary hearing, in addition to Peters’ testimony, the witness testified, and the DRE’s report and the blood test results were entered as evidence, according to previous reports.
Ammerman gave both sides until Oct. 3 to provide briefs on these issues.
He will review the briefs and a transcript of the preliminary hearing before making a decision on whether to suppress the blood test results and or withdraw the charges.