Lancaster County jury finds Florida woman guilty in 2014 fatal DUI crash,
LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa.- A Lancaster County jury convicted a Florida woman Thursday on all counts regarding a 2014 crash in East Lampeter Township that killed a woman and seriously injured her adult son.
The jury deliberated about 5 hours before returning its verdict about 4:15 p.m.
Patricia Halgash, 43, formerly of Reinholds, was convicted of Vehicular Homicide while DUI, Vehicular Homicide, Aggravated Assault by Vehicle while DUI, and Aggravated Assault by Vehicle.
Sharon Mulhatten, 71, died in the March 13, 2014, crash on Old Philadelphia Pike, near Chateau Hill. Her son, Troy Mulhatten, 54, sustained many injuries, including a torn aorta and broken leg.
Lancaster County Judge Jeffery Wright, who presided over the trial, will order sentence after a background check is completed.
At the conviction, Assistant District Attorney Maria Cusick requested Halgash’s bail be modified from unsecured to $500,000 cash. Halgash’s defense requested bail stay as is.
Judge Wright set bail at $500,000 cash and denied a defense request that Halgash be allowed to post 10 percent of that sum.
“This is a homicide,” the judge said in denying the request.
The jury of 7 women and 5 men was picked Monday morning and listened to four days of testimony before beginning deliberations Thursday about 11:30 a.m.
Attorneys for both sides gave closing arguments Thursday morning.
Assistant District Attorneys Cusick and J. Alexander Marcinko called numerous witnesses, including Troy Mulhatten, police who investigated circumstances of the crash, and Dr. Wayne Ross, a forensic pathologist, who testified to how alcohol intake impairs driving and Halgash’s likely blood-alcohol level based on how many drinks she had.
Halgash had been drinking at a bar not far from the scene of the crash. She also told police she had taken prescription medications.
Her Mercedes veered into oncoming traffic on Old Philadelphia Pike and struck Mulhatten’s Chevy Caprice nearly head-on.
East Lampeter Township police Officer Bryan Kondras filed charges.