The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Midd-West Region

April 9, 2013

Jury selection continues in 1997 homicide case

— MIDDLEBURG — Jury selection for the homicide trial of three men accused of killing Donald E. Seebold III in 1997 is stretching into its third day in Snyder County Court.

District Attorney Michael Piecuch and the attorneys for defendants Robert L. Reich, 37, and Christopher Auker, 38, both of Beavertown, and Ryan C. Sprenkel, 37, of Middleburg, began choosing 12 jurors and four alternates from a pool of 200 on Monday morning. By Tuesday night, a full panel hadn’t been seated, and jury selection will resume this morning at 8:30.

The three defendants will be tried together on charges of criminal homicide and conspiracy in the fatal beating of 22-year-old Seebold on July 13, 1997. They also are charged with perjury for allegedly lying to a statewide grand jury about the events surrounding the slaying.

A two-week trial is scheduled to begin April 29.

Anticipating complications in jury selection due to the number of attorneys involved in the case, Senior Judge Louise O. Knight had each of them submit questions for prospective jurors for her to ask to speed up the process. There are four defense attorneys and one prosecutor involved.

Once a jury panel in the homicide case is selected, potential jurors will be required to remain in the courtroom during the selection of juries for six other trials.

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