Accused in Death of Pa. Fire Chief Awaits Trial

The man accused of homocide by vehicle while DWI in the killing of Loganville's fire chief is awaiting trial in York County.

June 16--Accused in the April 2013, death of Loganville Fire Chief Rodney Miller, Matthew Diehl is set to go to trial in York County court in November.

A proposed amendment to the commonwealth's homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence law will have no effect on Diehl's trial or sentencing if he is convicted of that charge, attorneys involved in his case said.

The amendment sponsored by Adams and Franklin counties state Rep. Dan Moul would push the mandatory minimum sentence for a homicide by vehicle while DUI conviction from three years to five years if the driver has a previous DUI conviction.

Diehl, who has prior convictions for DUI in York County and driving while impaired in Maryland, is accused of operating a vehicle that struck Miller as he was setting up to direct traffic away from a crash on Interstate 83.

Chief Deputy Prosecutor Tim Barker said that if the sentencing change takes place, Diehl will be immune to the higher sentence because his alleged crime predates any change to the law.

"It would not affect anyone who already is charged or has pending charges," Barker said. "It would affect only those defendants charged from that date (of enactment into law) forward."

Diehl also is charged with third-degree murder, which carries a sentence of up to 20 to 40 years in prison.

Diehl's attorney, Suzanne Smith, also said Moul's proposed sentencing change would "legally have no effect."

But, she said, a judge might consider the sentencing enhancement during the penalty phase of a homicide by vehicle trial.

Meanwhile, Diehl, 33, of Shrewsbury, remains free on $100,000 bail. He must abide by certain bail conditions, according to court documents.

That includes wearing a Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor, which automatically reports to authorities if he drinks any alcohol. He also must not take any illegal substances, and follow a 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew, according to court documents.

Diehl has retained his license and driving privileges.

"He has a legal right to drive," Barker said. "He just doesn't have a legal right to drink."

Barker said Diehl must abide by pretrial bail conditions that were established for repeat DUI offenders.

Contact Rick Lee at 717-495-1782.

Copyright 2014 - York Daily Record, Pa.