The Rochester man accused of causing the death of a Frankfort woman in a car crash after a police chase in May is expected to stand trial early next year in Herkimer County Court.
Daniel Conklin, 24, on Tuesday rejected any offer by prosecutors to plead guilty in connection to the fatal May 24 collision in the town of Schuyler, said his attorney, Donald Manley. Conklin also is not proposing any counter offer at this time that he might be willing to accept, Manley said.
As a result, Conklin’s 15 charges — including second-degree manslaughter and unlawfully fleeing a police officer — will move forward on the path to trial, which Judge John Crandall scheduled to begin on Monday, Jan. 7, 2013.
In the meantime, Crandall said any hearings related to evidence in the case will likely be scheduled for sometime in November.
During Tuesday's court appearance, Conklin was seated in a wheelchair with his arm in a sling. Although both of Conklin’s legs were broken when his vehicle crashed into an SUV driven by Gail Pietruska, 65, on Route 5, it is unclear whether Conklin’s current condition is related to that accident.
The fatal crash occurred several minutes after Herkimer police began to pursue Conklin’s vehicle for speeding through a school zone and after a woman exited the moving vehicle.
Once the pursuit reached speeds in excess of 80 miles per hour, police said they called off the chase moments before Conklin’s vehicle crashed.
Pietruska’s sister — Louise Medallis, 54, who survived the crash — has since filed a notice of claim against the village of Herkimer accusing the Herkimer Police Department of negligence in pursuing a fleeing vehicle at high-speeds without realizing the risk to public safety.