Homicide Defendant Has 5 Prior DUI Convictions, Judge Says

Judge tells Robert Landis 'this should have been done before' then sets bail at $1 million.

As Liam Crowley's devastated mother, father and girlfriend looked on Tuesday, District Court Judge William Kraut ordered Robert Elwood Landis held on $1 million cash bond in Crowley's death.

Landis, who has five prior DUI convictions, is charged with multiple felony, misdemeanor and summary offenses in the death of 24-year-old Liam Crowley, of Chesterbrook, Tredyffrin Township. Crowley died after a pick-up truck that prosecutors said was driven by an intoxicated Landis struck his motorcycle on Route 202 in Westtown at about 10:30 p.m. on April 26. Crowley was airlifted to Paoli Hospital where he died two days later.

Landis was arraigned in District Court 15-2-03 in the county service building Tuesday morning.

After reading a list of 30 charges in the case, Judge Kraut asked Landis, 49, a standard list of questions about where he lives (with his mother in West Chester for the last 40 years), and his medical condition. Landis told the judge he served in the U.S. Army and he is being treated in prison for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). When asked if has any dependency on drugs or alcohol Landis told the judge he is alcohol-dependent.

The judge then read a list of previous DUI convictions on Landis' record.

According to the court record, Landis was found guilty of Driving Under the Influence in 1990. That case was resolved by the ARD first offenders program.

Landis was also found guilty of DUI in:

  • 1997 
  • 2002
  • 2005
  • 2009

Sources close to the case told Patch that Landis has three other DUI convictions in addition to the five detailed by the judge from the bench.

After reading the litany of Landis' previous DUI cases, the judge turned to the question of bail. Judge Kraut told the defendant he was setting bail at $1 million because given Landis' record he poses a threat to the public. "The public at this point—and this should have been done before—needs to be protected."

After being given time to call his lawyer, Landis was led back to a police car in shackles for the trip back to Chester County Prison where he is being held.

Landis is due back in the same courtroom next Tuesday for a preliminary hearing. That is when he district court must decide if there is sufficient evidence in the case to hold him over for trial.

Katie May 08, 2013 at 08:36 PM
Sorry John I got to disagree with you on that one. Our DUI laws do nothing that would have kept this man off the road. Our DUI laws do nothing but generate a lot of income, and if you can’t buy your way out, you can go to jail for a little. These are not real solutions?
Elaine Matt May 09, 2013 at 12:53 PM
we, as a society, need to get back to basics. Our moral compass has been compromised and we no longer get "outraged" at bad behavior and accept that behavior as "normal". We ALL need to start being responsible, use common sense and get vocal about punishing people who break the law - no matter how high or low that person is in our ranks. (and not reelect officials who allow this type of behavior to fly under the radar!)
Uncle Floyd May 09, 2013 at 03:30 PM
Version, What would you reccomend?
Katie May 09, 2013 at 06:59 PM
Uncle Floyd I am not sure what the RIGHT solution is. What we do now does not work!!!! They need more help than our courts and jails can offer them!!!!!
Uncle Floyd May 09, 2013 at 07:50 PM
First, in this case, the punishment did not reflect the crime? How many DUI's does it take before the judical system takes serious action. Whomever, allowed this individual to get back behind the wheel should be included in the charges of vehicular homicide. Or, are the laws for DUI too lax? Shoud DUI fines got to educational programs not local and state coffers? On the horizon is the issue of texting? Should this result in the same or greater penalities? Drinking or drug usage impares an individual while, texting and cell usage does the same but, are individuals dependent on communication devices like alcohol or drugs? Perhaps each of the issues: DUI, TEXTING and Cell Usage, while behind the wheel, needs a close and scientific evaluation. In all probability, these studies have, are or will be further evaluated. The next question is, who/what lobbies against the laws, ordinances and penalities/fines?


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