Defense in homicide in Pennsylvania wonders if model was killed along I-80 in Union County
LEWISBURG – Lawyer for a truck driver accused of shooting a New York dummy wonders if she was killed in Union County, where her body was found along Interstate 80 near Loganton on February 7.
In a preliminary motion filed on behalf of the accused Tracy Ray Rollins Jr., attorney Brian W. Ulmer said the evidence did not establish that Rebecca Landrith, 47, was shot dead in Union County.
If so, Ulmer argues Union County would not be the appropriate place to try Rollins Jr., 29, of Dallas, Texas. Rollins is being held without bail for manslaughter and body abuse.
The petition does not indicate where the murder could have taken place, but the lawyer said on Tuesday he would file a brief with additional information.
He also claims, without explanation, that the effort to obtain evidence in Connecticut, where Rollins was arrested, did not comply with Pennsylvania or federal law.
Ulmer set the stage for a change of venue argument by noting in his motion the amount of publicity the case generated.
Landrith, whose body was found along the exit ramp of the Mile Run interchange, sustained multiple gunshot wounds to the face, neck and chest, as well as two to one hand that police in the State called it defensive.
Eighteen bullets were removed from his body during an autopsy, the arrest affidavit states.
Police said the evidence gathered, including brain matter and bullet holes, indicate the shooting took place in the cabin of Rollins’ truck.
Landrith had no ID with her, but investigators found a note in a jacket pocket containing Rollins’ name, cell phone number and email address, as well as receipts from businesses.
Rollins told investigators, according to the affidavit, he met a woman named Leslie at a truck stop near Milford, Connecticut, and she traveled with him.
Information was obtained from Milford Police that Landrith made hotel reservations in December under the name Leslie Myers, the document said.
According to Rollins, “Leslie” accompanied him to Maine, back to Connecticut, then to Brooklyn, NY and Wisconsin where he picked up a load for delivery in Maine.
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Using receipts found in Landrith’s pockets and Rollins’ cell phone tapes, police said they tracked her trip from Wisconsin to Maine with a stop at the Mile Run interchange from 12:11 am to 12:26 am on February 7. .
Rollins was arrested in Connecticut on February 10 and waived his preliminary investigation. He will not face the death penalty if convicted of first degree murder, District Attorney D. Peter Johnson said.