The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

March 8, 2013

Judge denies motion for dismissal, orders trial in 1997 murder case

By Marcia Moore
The Daily Item

— MIDDLEBURG — A Snyder County judge has denied Christopher J. Aucker’s bid to have homicide, conspiracy and perjury charges dismissed and ordered him to be tried with two other men accused of beating Donald E. Seebold III to death in July 1997.

Senior Judge Louise O. Knight denied the request to dismiss the charges or sever Aucker’s case from his co-defendants, Robert L. Reich, 37, of Beavertown, and Ryan Sprenkel, 36, of Middleburg.

All three men are scheduled to be tried together in late April in the fatal beating of 22-year-old Seebold during Reich’s birthday celebration in Port Ann on July 12, 1997.

They were charged last year, nearly 15 years after the killing, after witnesses opened up about the events surrounding Seebold’s death to a statewide grand jury convened by Snyder County District Attorney Michael Piecuch.

Aucker, 38, of Beavertown, argued that Piecuch improperly used the statewide grand jury. He is represented by Williamsport attorney Michael Rudinski. Piecuch responded that a statewide grand jury was necessary for secrecy and that a county grand jury would most likely have jeopardized the case.

A hearing is scheduled today on Sprenkel’s motion to have the charges against him dismissed.