Man rejects plea deal in East Huntingdon pedestrian fatality case
A New Stanton motorist prosecutors contend was under the influence of drugs when he struck and killed a pedestrian on Christmas Eve 2016 in East Huntingdon rejected a plea deal on Friday that would have required him to serve up to 40 years in prison.
Matthew Ramsay, 31, is charged with third-degree murder, vehicular homicide and other offenses for the hit-and-run crash on Ruffsdale Alverton Road in which 49-year-old Joseph Cummings was killed. Police said Cummings was walking his dog when Ramsay deliberately swerved his vehicle across the road and struck Cummings.
Ramsay, according to police, had methadone, Xanax and marijuana in his system at the time of the crash.
In court on Friday, defense attorney James Robinson said his client would not accept the offered deal that would have resulted in a prison sentence of 15 to 40 years. Ramsay last year rejected a proposed deal for a 10-to-30-year prison sentence.
Assistant District Attorney Pete Flanigan said the deal for lesser prison time is off the table.
“That deal was not accepted by the original deadline,” Flanigan said.
Robinson told Common Pleas Court Judge Christopher Feliciani that his client would accept a plea bargain that called for Ramsay to serve three-to-six years behind bars. Flanigan rejected that counter-offer. The case now appears headed for a jury trial.
The trial is scheduled for next term that begins on March 11.
Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Rich at 724-830-6293, [email protected] or via Twitter .