The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Snyder County

January 13, 2014

Mifflinburg man to enter plea in 2011 stabbing death

LEWISBURG — SELINSGROVE — A 21-year-old Mifflinburg man who won a new trial following a conviction on third-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter charges in the March 2011 stabbing of Alan Martin is scheduled to enter a plea Wednesday.

If the plea deal is accepted by Snyder-Union President Judge Michael H. Sholley, Seth M. Hornberger will be sentenced immediately.

Hornberger was found guilty by a Snyder County jury in spring 2012 of fatally stabbing Martin, 21, of Winfield, in the Monroe Township apartment of Thomas Bingaman.

Represented by Williamsport defense attorney Edward “E.J.” Rymsza, Hornberger claimed the killing was in self-defense and that he was trying to protect a friend, Michael Lepley, who was being assaulted by Martin.

Snyder County District Attorney Michael Piecuch argued that he should have retreated, but Hornberger countered that there was no requirement under the law for him to retreat because he was an invited guest in Bingaman’s home.

Hornberger faced a maximum 20 years in prison, but successfully appealed the conviction to the Court of Common Pleas when Sholley ruled that he had given faulty instructions to the jury. The state Superior Court upheld the ruling granting Hornberger a new trial.

The plea and sentencing hearing is scheduled for Wednesday morning in Sholley’s Lewisburg courtroom.

Hornberger remains in the Snyder County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bail.

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