Hummelstown police officer’s homicide trial set to begin

Officer Lisa Mearkle

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Jury selection is scheduled to begin Friday morning at the trial of a Hummelstown police officer charged with criminal homicide.

Dauphin County prosecutors say Lisa Mearkle was not justified in using deadly force when she shot 59-year-old David Kassick in South Hanover Township earlier this year.

Mearkle’s attorney has said she feared for her life because Kassick, a federal parolee, ignored repeated orders to show his hands and kept reaching under his waist as if he had a gun.

District Attorney Ed Marsico, however, said Kassick was not physically aggressive and never brandished anything that could have been viewed as a potential weapon.

Mearkle on February 2 attempted to stop Kassick for expired inspection and emissions stickers. Kassick drove to his sister’s home in the 100 block of Grandview Avenue and ran to the backyard. That’s where authorities say Mearkle used a stun gun, ordered Kassick to show his hands, then shot him twice in the back.

Opening statements at the trial are expected next week.

ABC 27’s Kendra Nichols is following developments. Look for updates online and on air.

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