The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

February 19, 2013

Two held in fatal Snyder County stabbing

By Francis Scarcella
The Daily Item

— MIDDLEBURG — A 71-year-old Middleburg area woman was fatally stabbed on Sunday in her Creek Road home, and two people are in custody, according to state police at Selinsgrove.

Bonnie Jean Snook, of 1542 Creek Road, Beaver Township, Snyder County, was found dead at around 4 a.m. Sunday after a struggle with her grandson, Joshua Snook, police reported.

Dale Snook, Joshua Snook’s grandfather, was stabbed in the arm during the struggle, according to court documents. He was taken to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville and was listed in serious condition Monday. Joshua Snook was taken into custody along with his wife, Jennifer Snook, both of whom have a Sunbury address.  

According to police documents, the pair were in a Northumberland bar on Saturday night with a “friend,” when some unspecified altercation occurred and the unidentified friend assaulted Joshua Snook.

Joshua and Jennifer Snook left the bar and went to Bonnie and Dale Snook’s residence, intent on getting a gun and returning to the bar and getting back at the third party for the assault, according to documents filed by police.

Joshua Snook entered the home, while Jennifer Snook waited in a vehicle in a cemetery adjacent to the Creek Road residence, police said.

Joshua Snook retrieved a Ruger P85 9mm handgun, but then a struggle ensued between Bonnie and Dale Snook and their grandson, court documents said.

At some point during the struggle, Bonnie Snook was stabbed, resulting in her death, and Dale Snook was wounded in an arm, according to the documents.

Joshua Snook left the residence with the handgun and got back in the vehicle with Jennifer Snook. The couple’s car was pulled over by police about a mile from the residence on Creek Road, according to police, who reported that the handgun was found inside the vehicle.

Police said Joshua Snook admitted the reason he and his wife left the bar was to get the gun from his grandparents and scare the “friend.”

Police also interviewed Joshua Snook’s father, Jay Snook, who said his son called him about 3 a.m. Jay Snook originally missed the call because he was at work. Then, 10 minutes later, when he returned the call, Joshua Snook said he was going to Bonnie and Dale Snook’s to get the gun and kill the “friend” because of the previous assault, police said.

Joshua Snook allegedly told his father the “friend” had expressed interest in a personal relationship with Jennifer Snook, court documents said.

Authorities appeared on Monday to be sorting out charges against Joshua and Jennifer Snook, but according to court documents, Jennifer Snook was charged with burglary, two counts of conspiracy, theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property, firearms not to be carried without a license and a misdemeanor count of possession of a weapon.

Jennifer Snook, 30, was arraigned by District Judge Lori R. Hackenberg at 7:15 p.m. Sunday and was unable to post the $75,000 bail and was placed in Snyder County Prison. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Thursday. Joshua Snook has yet to be charged in the case, but was held in Snyder County Prison on a parole violation, police said.

Snyder County District Attorney Mike Piecuch on Monday said charges will likely be coming this week against Joshua Snook and that the parole violation had to do with the incident at his grandparents.

An autopsy on Bonnie Snook is scheduled for this morning at Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown, Snyder County Coroner Bruce Hummel said Monday.

A state police forensics van was parked at the house on Monday and investigators have been entering and leaving the house, which is situated directly across the street from the God Missionary Church and adjacent to God Missionary Cemetery.

Police did say that an “active homicide investigation” has been launched and the case was described as an isolated incident. Police said the public was not at risk.