The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

April 4, 2013

Judge ponders motion in June murder case

By Evamarie Socha
The Daily Item

— LEWISBURG — Motions are proceeding in Union County Court for two Valley residents facing charges in the June murder of Randy Alan Sampsell, who was shot in the head as he sat in a recliner in his Mifflinburg home.

On Wednesday, attorney Edward Rymsza, of Williamsport, filed an omnibus motion on behalf of Michael Shetterly II, 25, of Mifflinburg, challenging the commonwealth’s case against him. Shetterly is charged with one count of receiving stolen property involving two shotguns stolen from the home of Scott Vonneida, of Millmont.

Both sides are awaiting a decision on the motion from the court, county District Attorney D. Peter Johnson said.

Shetterly is the cousin of Justin Richard, who was staying at Shetterly’s home at the time of the crime. Richard, 28, of Mifflinburg, and Herbert Tiebout, 38, of Sunbury, are charged with second- and third-degree murder in Sampsell’s death, as well as robbery, burglary, assault and other offenses, totaling 13 in all.

Guns from Vonneida’s home were taken when Richard, Tiebout and two unidentified men allegedly robbed and savagely beat Vonneida.

Charges against Amanda Kratzer, 26, of Lewisburg, have been reduced to one count of conspiracy to commit burglary.

She appeared Monday in county court, where attorney Stephen Becker, of Lewisburg, filed a supplemental omnibus pretrial motion on her behalf.

Becker asserted that because Richard recanted his October testimony, the commonwealth is no longer able to prove Kratzer’s alleged involvement and all charges against her should be dropped.

Initially, Kratzer was charged with four counts of conspiracy to commit robbery, burglary and receiving stolen property. Richard’s girlfriend at the time of the murder, Kratzer allegedly gave Richard the names of Vonneida and Sampsell, as well as others, when he asked her for people who grew or sold marijuana with the intention of robbing them.

In October, Richard testified for the commonwealth in exchange for a deal that would have dismissed his charge of second-degree murder and possibly his third-degree murder charge in exchange for guilty pleas to two counts of robbery.

At the time, Jeffrey Crossland, Union County assistant district attorney, asked Richard if his testimony was in exchange for a plea. Richard answered, “Yes, that, and personally, I want to see justice be served.”