The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

December 11, 2012

Prosecutor asks judge to address murder defendant's complaints

By Marcia Moore
The Daily Item

— LEWISBURG — Accused killer Joel R. Snider’s penchant for writing letters and complaining about his defense attorneys has prompted a closed-door court hearing with Union-Snyder Judge Michael T. Hudock.

Chief Deputy Attorney General Frank Fina requested the judge hold a special meeting with Snider to inquire about his claims of ineffective counsel by defense team Edward “E.J.” Rymsza and William Miele, of Williamsport.

Snider, 35, of St. Louis, Mo., could face the death penalty if convicted of first-degree murder in the July 2010 shooting death of 70-year-old New Berlin yoga master Sudharman, also known as Joel Fenton.  

Fina said he’s grown increasingly concerned by letters Snider has been sending him the past several months and wants to avoid any problems down the road if a conviction is secured.

Fina said defendants in murder cases, particular capital cases, often raise issues and the county could be faced with added expenses if new defense counsel had to be brought in for Snider at this late stage.