Judge denies new sentencing for Snyder

LOCK HAVEN — Clinton County Judge Michael Salisbury rejected arguments Monday asking for a new sentence for William J. “B.J.” Snyder.

The petition for reconsideration was submitted on behalf of Snyder by local attorney David Lindsay.

“Petition denied,” Judge Salisbury said at the conclusion of Monday’s hearing.

Snyder had asked for a second look at his at least 20-year sentence in a state prison for killing his wife.

Snyder’s sentence of 20 years and one month to 42 years in prison was handed down by that same Judge Salisbury on Oct. 7.

Lindsay relied on the written petition rather than revisiting the points he made during sentencing. Likewise, Deputy Attorney General Michele L. Kluk said the arguments made at sentencing would suffice.

In a brief hearing, Judge Salisbury revisited many of the points he made the testimony offered at the sentencing hearing, which featured extensive testimony of many family members who spoke about the impact of the loss of Kelley Jo Snyder since her killing on Easter Sunday 2015.

In legal documents, Snyder’s lawyer, David I. Lindsay, claimed in his motion for reconsideration that the judge abused his discretion by ordering consecutive sentences for third-degree murder and abuse of corpse convictions.

Lindsey said the court improperly ignored Snyder’s expression of extreme remorse, his acceptance of responsibility and his understanding of how his mental health altered his judgment.

“I don’t believe you have extreme remorse,” Judge Salisbury said. From strangling his spouse while his children were about, to making up a kidnapping to hide his crime, to fleeing the area, Snyder’s actions spoke loudly against any claims of remorse, which appeared to arrive only after the defendant faced a severe penalty, the judge said.

If Snyder had called 911 immediately, Judge Salisbury said, it might have been a different story, but “sentencing day remorse” has little impact on any penalty.

The defendant’s claims of rehabilitative needs, in light of his continuing issue with anger and failure to seek help, also fell on deaf ears.

Lindsay also contended that Judge Salisbury failed to consider the effect the minimum term of 20 years, 1 month, will have upon Snyder’s children.

Snyder’s claims that his sentence would deprive his children? Judge Salisbury found the claim “disgusting.”

“You essentially orphaned these children,” Judge Salisbury said.

He also said these and other issues could be raised in a higher court within 30 days of yesterday’s decision.

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