On October 17, 2008 in Gilbert, PA just around 6:30 was a tragic motor vehicle accident involving a high profile Senator, this Senator was James J. Rhoades who passed away due to his injuries the next morning.
Mr. Senavitis was eventually arrested for vehicular homicide while DUI over 4 times the legal limit as well as over a dozen other charges.
ADA Colleen Mancuso prosecuted this case in trial on March 10, 2010 whereas in the questioning of the Commonwealth’s witness, Corporal Douglas Shook, he was questioned on the whereabouts and inspection of the pick-up truck driven by Mr. Senavitis.
In the court documents Corporal Shook testifies that a search warrant was obtained and an inspection of the vehicle was done by him on Halloween of 2008.
The inspection entails documenting and photographing damage points of the vehicle and an actual state inspection.
The search warrant also enables them to go inside the vehicles to inspect and gather evidence.
Direct from the trial:
Ms. Mancuso “Did you find anything unusual on the inside of the vehicle?”
Corporal Shook “The only thing that was surprising to me is there was actually still an odor of an alcoholic beverage inside the passenger compartment.
Ms. Mancuso “Was there anything else?”
Corporal Shook “There were beers cans in there. That is not necessarily uncommon with the crashes I get called out for. The odor of the alcoholic beverages still being in there was surprising. Usually it dissipates by then.”
PENNSYLVANIA STATE POLICE Supplemental Investigation Report:
Now, on February 17, 2010 (23 days before trial), this Trooper (Jason Beers) executed a search warrant on the truck that was operated by SENAVITIS. Four(4) empty twelve(12) ounce cans of BUSCH beer were recovered from the passenger compartment of the truck and placed into evidence under property number N3-4982(M).
It’s clearly documented and testified to that the pickup truck driven by Mr. Senavitis was inspected with a fine tooth comb on Halloween of 2008 with an obtained search warrant and the state police document everything about that vehicle and photographed it vehicle inside and out.
I believe it is protocol to photograph evidence in its found location before moving it for proper documentation.
Then they get another search warrant 23 days before trial on February 17, 2010 and this is when they come up with these cans of beer to bring up into evidence.
Upon receipt of this new discovery by defense and brought to Mr. Senavitis’ attention he informed defense counsel there were no beer cans in the cab of his truck and he needed to review that evidence for born on dates that the cans document.
Needless to say prosecution made sure these cans of beer in the cab of the truck were brought up in the trial, but the physical evidence of these cans were never viewed.
Why weren’t they found and photographed in their complete inspection of the pickup truck Halloween of 2008?
If they were there then I am sure there would have been several other initial charges on Mr. Senavitis in their scramble for charging this man for as much as they could to make him seem guilty.
Mr. Senavitis’ family reviewed the pickup and photographs the entire vehicle the day after the accident October 18, 2008 and there are no beer cans in any of their photos.
And, even though the Rhoades family and the court has been portraying them to be dumb rednecks I am sure if there were cans at the time the family inspected the vehicle and got personal items out they would have been smart enough to take out any beer cans. They didn’t because there wasn’t any.
To see full stream of photos by the Senavitis family go to: