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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.

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