The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

January 8, 2014

Judge grants more time for Snyder County murder trial

By Marcia Moore
The Daily Item

— MIDDLEBURG — A Snyder County judge today granted the commonwealth’s motion to extend the speedy trial rule in the case of alleged murder co-defendant Jennifer Snook.

District Attorney Michael Piecuch made the request for an extension due to the law requiring the commonwealth to bring a criminal defendant to trial within 365 days.

Snook, 30, and her husband, Joshua M. Snook, 28, both of Sunbury, were arrested nearly a year ago shortly after the Feb. 17 fatal stabbing of his grandmother, Bonnie J. Snook, 71, inside her Beaver Township home on Creek Road.

Authorities allege Joshua Snook went to the home to get guns and ammunition he planned to use to confront a  man he had argued with earlier in the evening at a Northumberland County bar.

He is facing a slew of charges, including criminal homicide. Jennifer Snook is charged with second-degree homicide and conspiracy charges as a co-conspirator.

The Snooks will be tried together, but have separate attorneys.

Joshua Snook’s defense team of Rachel Wiest Benner and James Best were given approval by the court in September for a mental health exam to determine his competency to stand trial, but so far a report hasn’t been issued.

The Snooks are scheduled to go on trial this spring, but Hudock noted that once a mental health report on Joshua Snook is complete it may prompt the commonwealth to seek its own expert evaluation.