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All Charges Against Williamsport Cop Held for Trial

WILLIAMSPORT — All charges against a Williamsport police officer accused of causing a deadly crash last month have been bound over for trial.

A magistrate ruled on Friday that there is enough evidence against Officer Jonathan Deprenda.

Williamsport Police Officer Jonathan Deprenda walked into the Lycoming County Courthouse with his wife and attorney for his preliminary hearing.

Deprenda was charged last week with homicide by vehicle and other charges for allegedly causing the crash on January 12 that killed James Robinson of Williamsport.

Two people testified at Deprenda’s preliminary hearing. They are both corporals with the Pennsylvania State Police.

The first is a reconstructionist who said Officer Deprenda hit speeds of 101 miles per hour right before the crash on January 12. He said Deprenda and Robinson’s cars collided while Deprenda’s police cruiser was going 88 miles per hour.

The other witness is the lead investigator on the case. He testified that Officer Deprenda is at fault for the crash because of his high rate of speed.

Defense Attorney Michael Dinges disputes this and blamed James Robinson for causing the crash. Dinges says Robinson was at fault because he did not use his turn signal and did not pull to the right to allow the officer to pass, both of which are violations.

Dinges asked, “Was Officer Deprenda supposed to anticipate that Mr. Robinson wouldn’t use his turn signal and then turn left right in front of him?”

Lycoming County District Attorney Eric Linhardt said Robinson cannot be blamed for the crash, because we will never know whether Robinson actually heard the sirens or saw the flashing lights.

Linhardt said, “At 101 miles per hour, even if Mr. Robinson used his turn signal, this accident was happening.”

There was an issue with the most serious charge of homicide by vehicle. Deprenda’s defense challenged the legal definition of vehicular homicide and asked the judge to dismiss all of the charges.

The judge decided to send all of the charges to county court and let a jury decide whether Deprenda is guilty.


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