McKean County’s top prosecutor is asking to set dates for the homicide by vehicle trial of attorney Marc Nuzzo from a fatal crash in September 2018.
Nuzzo, 44, of Wilkes-Barre and formerly of Kane, was charged after the death of Stanley “Guy” Austin, who died from injuries suffered in a head-on collision with Nuzzo’s vehicle on U.S. Route 219 near Mead Run. Several of Austin’s passengers were injured.
The prosecution alleges that Nuzzo caused the crash by driving south in the northbound lane while trying to pass another vehicle.
The county’s case has been on hold while Nuzzo’s attorneys, James P. Miller of Erie and Christopher Martini of St. Marys, appealed a ruling by Judge John Leete, specially presiding. That ruling was a denial of several requests by defense counsel, including a motion to disqualify District Attorney Stephanie Vettenburg-Shaffer, a subpoena for Shaffer’s electronic communications, and a motion for ex parte discovery.
The state Superior Court denied the appeal. Defense counsel has now filed a petition for allowance of appeal to the state Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, Shaffer filed a motion July 12 to exclude any defense evidence not disclosed, including expert testimony, to allow the case to proceed to trial. And a second motion was filed on Sept. 15, asking for proposed trial dates or to schedule the trial, and to grant her prior motion regarding evidence.
According to the first motion, Shaffer had filed a motion to compel discovery in the case on Aug. 21, 2019, and on Feb. 25, Leete ordered that discovery be provided by the defense within 45 days. As of July 21, no discovery was provided, Shaffer wrote, and the “case has been pending for more than one year.”
No answer was filed to her motion.
In the motion to identify trial dates, Shaffer pointed out the length of time it has been since the crash for which Nuzzo is charged, as the crash took place on Sept. 5, 2018. She added that she is asking for two days for jury selection and approximately 8 days for jury trial in the case.
As of Monday, no response had been filed to the motion, and Leete had not rendered a decision.
Nuzzo is charged with homicide by vehicle, involuntary manslaughter, three counts of aggravated assault by vehicle and six counts of recklessly endangering another person, along with several traffic summary offenses.
Nuzzo remains free on 5% of $100,000 bail.