Homicide Trial to Begin for Accused DUI Driver - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Homicide Trial to Begin for Accused DUI Driver



    5-Time DUI Driver Faces Death Charges in 6th DUI

    Robert Landis faces a homicide charge after he allegedly struck a motorcyclist in what authorities say was his sixth DUI. (Published Monday, Sept. 23, 2013)

    A trial is set to get underway today for a man already found guilty of five DUIs who is accused of striking and killing a motorcyclist.

    Robert Landis, 50, will be in court in Chester County this morning to face 32 counts including homicide by vehicle, reckless endangerment and a slew of driving and alcohol charges.

    Landis was already found guilty in more than a half dozen instances He is accused of drunkenly crashing his pickup truck into a 24-year-old man's motorcycle.

    "Liam Crowley would be alive today if Robert Landis had not blatantly disobeyed our laws," said Westtown-East Goshen Regional Police Department Chief Brenda Bernot. "But Landis has demonstrated that he does not care about others and his incredibly selfish acts on April 26 took the life of a young man with so much potential."

    Man in Fatal Crash Had 5 Prior DUIs: D.A.

    [PHI] Man in Fatal Crash Had 5 Prior DUIs: D.A.
    A Chester County man, who's been convicted of driving drunk 5 times before, is now facing charges in a deadly DUI. The father of Liam Crowley of Chesterbrook says he's in disbelief that a person with that many DUI convictions is able to get behind the wheel. Robert Elwood Landis allegedly drove drunk when his truck collided with Crowley s motorcycle. NBC10's Denise Nakano has the story.
    (Published Monday, April 29, 2013)

    Chester County District Attorney Thomas Hogan says that an investigation showed that Landis was driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.28 -- three times the legal limit -- on when he turned his 2004 Dodge Ram into oncoming traffic at Wilmington Pike (State Route 202) and Stanton Avenue in Westtown Township. Authorities say Landis was trying to turn onto Stanton.

    Crowley's motorcycle, which was going straight, was struck by Landis' pickup at the intersection.

    Landis told police the motorcycle "came out of nowhere," according to an affidavit obtained by NBC10.

    "Getting behind the wheel of a pickup truck at night on the highway with this much alcohol in your system is like firing a 5,000 pound bullet into a crowd of people," Hogan said.

    Police say Landis had bloodshot eyes and smelled of alcohol as he slurred his speech following the crash, according to Hogan.

    Landis told police he only had "a couple of beers," Hogan said. Investigators say they found numerous empty and full beer cans in his pickup.

    An investigation showed the Landis -- who was living with his mother -- was driving on a suspended license.

    According to court records and the Chester County D.A., Landis pleaded guilty to five previous DUIs and was entered into an alcohol treatment program two other times -- dating all the way back to a 1981 arrest -- before this deadly crash. The District Attorney says Landis would have been eligible to drive as of 2012 if he had filled out proper paperwork.

    The question remains why Landis was able to get behind the wheel. His mother Louise Landis, 85, was charged in July with fraudulently registering Landis' pickup in her name.

    Liam Crowley's father choked back tears while discussing the loss of his son.

    "It's too much to overcome," he said following the wreck.

    Landis has remained behind bars since his arrest unable to post $1 million bail, according to court records.


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