Trucker accused of killing co-driver declared insane

| 8/24/2010

A trucker accused of fatally beating and stabbing his co-driver earlier this year in New York will not stand trial, a judge said this past week.

New York State Supreme Court Justice Russell Buscaglia ruled that 47-year-old trucker Rudy A. Arnette was legally insane on Jan. 26 when he attacked his co-driver, 43-year old Robert L. Hardy, as Hardy was behind the wheel on Interstate 90 West near Buffalo.

The ruling came after psychiatrists for both the defense and prosecution testified that Arnette was psychotic and thought he was acting on God’s instructions.

Hardy died from both blunt trauma to the head and stab wounds according to the coroner. During the attack, Hardy lost control and the truck crashed into trees, but the coroner said injuries from the wreck were not the cause of death.

According to reports, Hardy had two grown children and was engaged at the time of his death.

Arnette and Hardy drove for Falcon Transport out of Youngstown, OH, and had been hauling auto parts from Vermont to Dayton. The two men, both from Ohio, had been working together for about a month leading up to the attack. Investigators reported that the two men did not get along.

Police found Arnette walking near the site the evening of the truck crash. He told officers that he had been in a fight with Hardy and that Hardy was still in the truck. Officers found Hardy’s body behind the driver’s seat.

In early February, Arnette pleaded not guilty to a charge of second-degree murder.

In a written report to the court, psychiatrists for both the prosecution and defense agreed that Arnette was suffering delusions and was “substantially impaired in his capacity to appreciate the wrongfulness of his actions.”

Arnette is currently locked up in a holding center and undergoing psychiatric testing by the state.

– By David Tanner, associate editor

– Staff Writer Reed Black contributed to this story