Berks man convicted of DUI fatality seeks bail while he appeals

A Berks County man serving up to 12 years in prison for killing a motorcyclist in Upper Hanover while driving drunk wants his freedom while he appeals his conviction and sentence.

Francis David Lynch, 42, of the first block of Mountain Scene Drive, Hereford, wants a Montgomery County judge to grant him bail so he can be free while his appeal moves forward in the state courts. Defense lawyer Frank Genovese, who filed the bail request on Lynch’s behalf in county court, indicated Lynch has appealed his conviction and sentence to the Pennsylvania Superior Court.

Genovese maintained Lynch, while he was free on bail pending trial after his April 2012 arrest, appeared for all court hearings, maintained the same address, maintained employment, completed treatment for alcohol abuse and did not incur any new arrests. Genovese claimed Lynch is a good candidate for bail.

“Certainly, there was no issue with him being a flight risk or anything of that nature so there’s no reason to think that he would be at this point,” Genovese said on Thursday.

Prosecutors will have the chance to address Lynch’s request if Judge Carolyn T. Carluccio holds a hearing on the matter. Lynch currently is in the county jail awaiting his transfer to a state prison.

On Jan. 8, Carluccio sentenced Lynch to six to 12 years in state prison in connection with the 11 p.m. April 4, 2012, two-vehicle crash in the 3000 block of Kutztown Road that claimed the life of motorcyclist Barry D. Good, of Alburtis, Lehigh County. Lynch was convicted by a jury after a four-day trial in October of charges of homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence of alcohol, homicide by vehicle, and DUI in connection with the fatal crash.

The judge also convicted Lynch of several summary charges, including reckless and careless driving.

During the trial, testimony revealed Lynch and his friends used a so-called “quarter game” to monitor the number of beers and shots he consumed in the hours before he drove drunk and killed Good, a 57-year-old father of nine who was on his way to work at Merck, working a night shift so he could be at home during the day to help care for two children who have special needs.

Under the rules of the quarter game Lynch wasn’t supposed to be served more than one shot of alcohol with his beer within an hour, according to testimony.

Bartenders at Lynch’s favorite nightspots or his friends would flip the coin and if it came up “heads” Lynch could have a shot, according to testimony. However, according to testimony, Lynch’s girlfriend, Vicky Coburn, and others would rig the game so that the coin would reveal “tails” if Lynch tried to get more than one shot within an hour.

Prosecutors relied on testimony about the quarter game to imply Coburn was concerned that Lynch was intoxicated and risked being cited for drunken driving the night of April 4.

During the trial, Assistant District Attorney Lauren McNulty alleged Lynch’s blood-alcohol content was 0.136 percent at the time of the crash, which is above the legal blood-alcohol content of 0.08 percent.

In court papers, prosecutors alleged Lynch “had at least nine drinks that day – his last drink having been approximately one half-hour before the crash.”

Testimony revealed Lynch, who worked as a foreman for a construction business, had a prior DUI conviction in 2001 and another DUI arrest, a charge that is still pending, just 26 days before the fatal crash.

McNulty, calling Lynch “a danger to society,” sought a lengthy state prison term against Lynch.

McNulty alleged Lynch, driving a 2002 Ford F-250 truck northbound on Kutztown Road, made an abrupt left turn, without signaling, into a driveway, directly in the path of Good’s southbound 2009 Kawasaki Vulcan motorcycle. At the time, Lynch, with Coburn as his passenger, was headed to a bonfire party at a friend’s home off Kutztown Road, testimony revealed.

State Police Corporal Charles N. Burckhardt Jr. alleged Lynch, while turning with no forewarning, blocked Good’s path, and Good, skid marks indicated, tried to stop to avoid the collision but was beyond the point of escape.

State police troopers at the scene spoke with Lynch and noticed the odor of alcoholic beverage on his breath and that Lynch was swaying while standing still, according to testimony. Lynch failed field sobriety tests, police alleged.

Follow Carl Hessler Jr. on Twitter @MontcoCourtNews