Case Closed: Three acquitted in Seebold death
MIDDLEBURG — All three Snyder County men charged in the 1997 beating death of Donald Seebold III have been acquitted. Sighs of relief from the family and friends of Ryan Sprenkel, Christopher Aucker and Robert Reich came from the Snyder County Courthouse Thursday as the verdicts were read.
“I think the jury was very conscientious, they listened carefully and made the right decision,” said Defense Attorney Michael Rudinski. The three men were acquitted of criminal homicide charges, conspiracy charges and perjury charges in Seebold’s death.
Snyder County District Attorney Mike Piecuch said, “I’m disappointed, but I respect the jury’s verdict. They did their jobs.”
Piecuch and the prosecution argued that the three men were involved in a fight with Seebold in July 1997 during a party. They say the men took Seebold in a truck and left him for dead where he was found on Troxelville Road.
Piecuch says, though there was a lot of testimony in this 16-year-old case, he was confident with the prosecution’s argument. “I won’t comment on the defense’s case, but I am still confident of our argument. I consider this case closed.”
The defense argued that there was no fight at the party and that their three clients were not involved. Rachel Wiest Benner, one of the attorneys for Robert Reich, says her client could not be happier. “Our client was innocent and the jury did the right thing. It took a lot of guts for them to do what they did, because it was not easy. My client is thrilled, speechless and he is going home to see his son and his mom.”
Seebold’s family, who had been in the courtroom every day for the nearly two-week trial, was visibly upset after the verdict was read. (Sara Bartlett)
Here is the full text of Piecuch’s post verdict news release:
DA Comments on Seebold Homicide Verdict
(Middleburg, PA) — District Attorney Mike Piecuch (pronounced “pea-YET-sue”) issued the following statement following the jury’s verdict in the cases ofCommonwealth versus Christopher Aucker, Robert Reichand Ryan Sprenkel regarding the death of Donald Seebold:
“While we respect the jury’s verdict, we consider the Seebold case closed. I want to thank the dedicated efforts of the many investigators with the Pennsylvania State Police involved in this case over the years. I would also like to thank the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General for its generous assistance during the Grand Jury stage ofthe investigation.”