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Westmoreland

Hempfield bicyclist's trial opens Tuesday, could last 10 days

Rich Cholodofsky
| Monday, Aug. 7, 2017, 12:24 p.m.
David Smith of Hempfield is led away from the Westmoreland County Courthouse on Sept. 9, 2016. (Trib photo)
Sean Stipp | Tribune-Review
David Smith of Hempfield is led away from the Westmoreland County Courthouse on Sept. 9, 2016. (Trib photo)
David Smith of Hempfield
David Smith of Hempfield

Opening statements will begin Tuesday morning in the trial of a Hempfield bicyclist accused of obstructing traffic on county roads.

Twelve jurors and two alternates were seated Monday to hear evidence against David Smith.

Common Pleas Court Judge Meagan Bilik-DeFazio told 40 prospective jurors the trial could last between seven and 10 days.

Smith, 58, is charged in eight cases dating to 2012 in which the prosecution contends he intentionally and recklessly rode his bicycle in an effort to tie up traffic.

More than a dozen witnesses for the prosecution are expected to be called to testify about the incidents in which Smith allegedly pedaled slowly down the center of local roads, causing traffic to back up behind him.

Smith is charged with multiple counts of obstruction of highways and other misdemeanor and summary offenses.

He has been in jail since last summer, when Bilik-DeFazio revoked his bail after he admitted to ignoring a court order that forbade him from riding a bicycle on public roads while he awaits trial.

Defense attorney Larry Burns said in court Monday that he expects Smith to testify on his own behalf and serve as his only defense witness. Burns has said that Smith acted within the law and that motorists were able to properly pass him on the road.

Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-830-6293 or rcholodofsky@tribweb.com.

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