Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

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Host: Scott LaMar

Smart Talk: I-81 murder suspect's incredible escape from justice; Project SHARE feeds the hungry

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Sep 23, 2016 11:22 AM
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Penndot photograph of Timothy Davison's vehicle in the I-81 median.

What to look for on Smart Talk Friday, September 23, 2016:

On January 4, 2014, 28-year-old Timothy Davison of Portland, Maine was shot and killed after his car was run off of Interstate 81 in Franklin County by another vehicle.  For months, news reports said the incident was the result of road rage.   

Finally last September, we may have finally learned the truth of what happened. 

Police arrested John Wayne Strawser Jr. of Preston County, West Virginia and said that Strawser killed Davison in a case of mistaken identity.  Strawser thought he was shooting the husband of a former girlfriend.

As bizarre as that is it isn't the end of a very unusual story.  The Carlisle Sentinel is reporting on Strawser's criminal past and it is the story of one missed opportunity to lock up a serial criminal after another, who went on to allegedly murder two people. 

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John Wayne Strawser Jr.

Strawser had an extensive criminal history that included theft and assault.  Several failed relationships ended with violence and protective orders issued against him.  Strawser had been arrested multiple times in his home state of West Virginia, but always seemed to evade jail, drawing probationary terms instead.  Despite the unwillingness of officials to imprison him, it was made clear he was not to be in possession of a firearm. 

Strawser continued to violate his probation, leaving West Virginia for Pennsylvania and amassing a dozen guns.  More failed relationships and a deeper descent into madness finally led Stawser to murder a former girlfriend.

The ensuing investigation unveiled even more depraved acts of violence and more questions about Strawser's ability to travel freely and purchase guns, both direct violations that should have put him in jail.

Carlisle Sentinel reporter Joshua Vaughn joins us on Friday's Smart Talk to share the story of John Wayne Stawser as well as discuss some of the cracks in the system that allowed a violent repeat offender to escape justice. 

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Joshua Vaughn, Reporter, Carlisle Sentinel

Also, twelve-million Americans have to cope with hunger every day.  Project SHARE is a collaborative effort of 66 local schools, congregations and community organizations dedicated to providing relief for more than 1,100 families in the region.  Joe Kloza, Education and Communication Outreach Coordinator for Project Share will discuss the services offered and how you can get involved.

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Joe Kloza, Project SHARE

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