Homicide Charges Bound For Court
Gerald “Choo” Buterbaugh is tentatively scheduled to appear in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas on Wednesday, July 28, for arraignment in connection with a fatal hit-andrun collision that occurred outside the Hillside Tavern during the early morning hours on Memorial Day.
The decision to bound over the homicide charge against Buterbaugh, 41, was made last Tuesday during a preliminary hearing presided over by Magisterial District Judge David Plum. In hearing testimony offered by two Pennsylvania State Police troopers, Judge Plum ruled sufficient evidence was presented to move the case forward.
During the upcoming July formal arraignment proceeding, Buterbaugh, of 243 North Clear Ridge Road, will have the option to enter a guilty or not-guilty plea in the death of former Burnt Cabins resident Dale Steven Henry. Buterbaugh is represented in court proceedings by defense attorney Chris Sheffield.
Through media reports, Sheffield has reportedly announced he will request a bail hearing to be held following the arraignment. Buterbaugh has been held in the Franklin County Prison since June 8 without the opportunity to make bail due to the nature of the charges.
Buterbaugh was arrested by state police in Chambersburg for striking Henry with his truck at 2:37 a.m. on Memorial Day outside the bar located at 19359 Fannettsburg Road West in Metal Township, Franklin County.
Emergency responders found Henry, who most recently resided in East Waterford, Pa., lying unconscious in the bar’s parking lot. Henry was pronounced brain dead almost 12 hours later by Blair County Coroner Patricia Ross at Altoona Regional Hospital.
In an affidavit of probable cause and charging documents originally filed through the office of Magisterial District Judge Gary Carter, investigating state police Trooper Jason Cachara said he interviewed an eyewitness to the crime. The witness reported seeing Henry, 32, argue with several men who then got into a green 1980s model truck. The affidavit also alleges the truck backed out of the parking lot before pulling forward and striking Henry.
According to the affidavit, Buterbaugh stopped by the McConnellsburg state police barracks the day of the incident and told police there had been an altercation outside the bar and one of his friends had been “beaten up.” Buterbaugh also allegedly told police he was attempting to leave the crowded parking lot and drove in the direction of the people who had fought with his friend.
In speaking with the Public Opinion Sheffield has maintained the accident was not intentional. He concluded Buterbaugh did not stop driving following the crash as he did not realize Henry was seriously injured.