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State superior court rejects man's homicide by vehicle appeal

September 13, 2019 Digital Media Exclusive

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This was the scene of the truck-motorcycle accident that claimed the life of Dale T. Major in 2016.

The state's Superior Court rejected a man's appeal to overturn his conviction for killing a motorcyclist on Route 8.

Michael T. Burns, 39, of Houston was found guilty by a Butler jury last year of driving a truck into and killing a motorcyclist on July 26, 2016, but in the rejected appeal Burns argued that there was insufficient evidence to convict him. The charges included homicide by vehicle, involuntary manslaughter, recklessly endangering another person, failure to stop at a red signal, and three counts of operating a vehicle with hazardous brake systems. Judge William Shaffer sentenced Burns to three to six months of incarceration, but he decided to parole him immediately, ordering him to serve six months of house arrest. Burns will also be on probation for eight-and-a-half years and must complete 250 hours of community service.

In Burns' appeal, filed over the summer, he asked the Superior Court to find that there was insufficient evidence on all charges to find him guilty and asked the higher court to determine if there was lack of evidence in the case to establish Burns acted recklessly, causing the death of Dale T. Major.

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