Officer’s request for writ of habeas corpus is denied

A Lycoming County court has denied Jonathan Deprenda’s request for a writ of habeas corpus, a court order that challenges the legality of a defendant’s arrest.

Deprenda is the city police officer involved in a Jan. 12 crash that resulted in the death of a civilian, James D. Robinson. A preliminary hearing in February determined that vehicular homicide, involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment and summary traffic charges would be held for court.

Deprenda sought the writ for the first three charges, with the defense claiming that there was insufficient evidence to support them. The court chose to uphold the charges.

After a habeas corpus hearing held June 30, judges determined that there is reasonable evidence for a jury to find Deprenda guilty of these charges.

“Here there was no doubt as to factually what caused the death of Mr. Robinson. Record is sufficient that a jury could find that the officer’s conduct was a direct and approximate cause of the death of Mr. Robinson,” court documents said.

Deprenda’s defense also requested that the court dismiss a mandatory in-service training course that Deprenda took as part of training for his position, which the court denied.

The commonwealth ruled that the course shows Deprenda’s knowledge on the issue and would be considered as the case continues.