The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

September 11, 2013

Alleged murder accomplice seeks change of venue

MIDDLEBURG — A woman charged in Snyder County as an accomplice along with her husband, Joshua Snook, in the stabbing death of his grandmother is requesting a change of trial venue and to be informed whether any plea deals are being offered her co-defendant.

Following an in-chambers discussion with Jennifer Snook’s defense attorney, Patrick Johnson and District Attorney Michael Piecuch, Snyder County Judge Michael H. Hudock said the defense motion for a new venue and discovery will be considered at a later time.

Hudock noted that jury selection in Jennifer Snook’s case isn’t close to being scheduled and Piecuch would disclose any plea deal in the event one is reached with Snook’s husband.

Joshua Snook has also asked the commonwealth to disclose if any plea deal is reached with his wife in the case.

“I’m in conversations with both sides,” Piecuch said.

Both Snooks face life in prison if convicted of all charges against them in connection with the Feb. 17 slaying of Bonnie Snook, 71, and the assault on her husband, Dale, in their Beaver Township home.

Jennifer Snook, 29, of Sunbury, is charged with second-degree murder and conspiracy charges as an accomplice with Joshua Snook, 28, who is facing nearly two dozen charges, including criminal homicide, aggravated assault and robbery.

Authorities allege Joshua Snook went to his grandparents’ home to steal a gun to use to confront an unidentified man he had an argument with earlier that night at a Northumberland County bar.

But the alleged robbery went awry and Joshua Snook fatally stabbed his grandmother in the throat and seriously injured his grandfather with a stab wound to the arm while Jennifer Snook waited outside in a car.

Also inside the home was Joshua Snook’s 9-year-old son from a previous relationship who was staying at his great-grandparents the night of the assault. Joshua Snook took his son out of the house after the attack and tried to leave the area with him and his wife, but their vehicle was stopped by police who were alerted by Dale Snook’s call for help.

In early August, police filed additional charges against Jennifer Snook for driving under the influence of alcohol, careless driving and endangering the welfare of a child the night.

Joshua’s Snook’s court-appointed attorneys, Rachel Wiest Benner and James Best, are pursuing a mental health defense and have received court approval to hire a forensic psychiatrist.

 

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