Boyo Transportation, based in Harrisburg, employed Archie Lee Wright when police arrested him for the murder of co-worker Tomicka Stubbs on May 15. Wright, 56, is accused of stabbing Stubbs in her Swatara Township apartment, then strangling her to death with a bike lock chain.
District Judge Michael Smith ruled that Wright will face trial for charges of criminal homicide and tampering with evidence.
Swatara Township Detective George Haney said during Tuesday's preliminary hearing surveillance video was used to track Wright up to and from Stubbs' Summit View Apartment complex. Police also used video from the school van Wright drove for work which showed him taking a pair of bloodied boots down to the Susquehanna River underneath the Interstate 83 bridge near the Dock Street Dam in Harrisburg.
"That was compelling evidence," said Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico.
According to Boyo Transportation Director Dan Boyanowski, Wright was employed by Boyo and drove for the Derry Township School District. When Wright was hired by Boyo, he already had an aggravated assault charge on his criminal history. He was hired anyway, despite Boyo's Derry Township hiring branch approving of Wright's background check.
Boyanowski added that their school districts ultimately have the final say in who gets hired.
Boyanowski declined FOX43's request to discuss Boyo Transportation's hiring policies on camera, but did admit to making a mistake in allowing Archie Wright to gain employment considering his criminal past.
He said in the aftermath of Stubbs' murder, Boyo altered its hiring process so Boyanowski is personally included in the vetting of each employee. School districts still have the final say on hires, he added.
Derry Township School District cut ties with Boyo in June. FOX43's calls to the school's transportation center to ask them questions specifically on why Archie Wright passed its background check were not returned.
Det. Haney testified that, according to family members, Wright had threatened to kill Stubbs multiple times. One of the death threats came as recent as a week before the murder, Haney said, with Wright saying of his ex-girlfriend, "If he couldn't have her, no one could."
Three of Stubbs' family members sat in on the preliminary hearing. When Wright walked into the courtroom, Stubbs' niece, Gwendolyn Terry, began to cry.
"It's been really tough. Everybody misses her. It doesn't feel real at all," she said. "I just want him to be away forever, so he can feel the pain he put us through."
Wright's court-ordered attorney, Paul Kovatch, asked Judge Smith to eliminate the homicide charge based off of "circumstantial evidence", saying none of the evidence brought forward by Dauphin County prosecutors directly implicates his client in the Stubbs' murder.
"The charges were bound over based on a lot of hearsay," Kovatch said. "There doesn't seem to be a lot of physical evidence in this case and we look forward to our day in court."
Archie Lee Wright's next court appearance will be for his formal arraignment on October 28.