Linaweaver sentence hearing reset for August

By Thomas Wilson
STAR STAFF
twilson@starhq.com

   A Pennsylvania man convicted last year of voluntary manslaughter in the shooting death of a Hampton man will spend a few more months behind bars before finding out how he will be sentenced.
   Judge Lynn Brown reset the sentence hearing of Loy Dale Linaweaver for Aug. 9 during Criminal Court proceedings Thursday. A Carter County jury found Linaweaver guilty of voluntary manslaughter and felony evading arrest in December in connection with the shooting of Billy Joe Street in August of 2002. Linaweaver had originally been indicted on a charge of second-degree murder.
   At issue is whether the state can introduce evidence alleging previous felony convictions incurred by Linaweaver, 43, formerly of Somerset, Pa. Assistant District Attorney Kenneth Baldwin said court records from Maryland indicated Linaweaver had three previous felony convictions.
   Baldwin said Linaweaver's defense attorney was seeking to block introduction of the court records citing the defense's inability to dispute them under a defendant's constitutional right to confront an accuser. Linaweaver faces up to 10 years in prison depending on validity of records alleging any previous felony convictions.
   According to police reports, the incident occurred at Streets Trailer Park, off of Rittertown Road, around 9 p.m. on Aug. 1, 2002, where Linaweaver allegedly got into a verbal altercation with Randall Street. Linaweaver then reportedly fired a shot at Street with a handgun. At that time, Street jumped off the porch and tried to take cover. His father, Billy Joe Street, stepped onto the porch and was shot in the abdomen. Billy Joe Street later died from the injuries he sustained.
   Linaweaver fled the scene in a light brown van and was pursued by Carter County Sheriff's Department officers. He was later apprehended after CCSD K-9 Sgt. Kabor and his handler CCSD Deputy Sarah Ryan were summoned to assist locating him.