Judge orders max 60-year sentence in murder, drug case: 'You just don't care'
The judge spoke evenly as he looked at a York City man convicted in a lethal drug-dealing case: “My impression is you just don’t care.”
Judge Gregory Snyder shared his thoughts Thursday, shortly before delivering a sentence that amounted to 30 to 60 years in prison.
The order came more than two months after a jury found David Seecharran Jr., 44, guilty of eight felonies at trial, including third-degree murder. Seecharran's charges involved engaging in a corrupt organization, drug delivery resulting in death, delivery of a controlled substance, and four conspiracy counts related to each of the other counts.
Seecharran was accused of supplying heroin that two men used, got high on, overdosed and died in separate incidents over the course of a year and a half. Edward Ahrens, 27, died in December 2016 in East Manchester Township, while Jared Connelly, 30, died in July 2018 in Newberry Township.
The jury’s verdict at trial led to Seecharran’s conviction in Connelly’s death. He was acquitted of six counts, including another third-degree murder charge, in Ahrens’ death.
First Assistant District Attorney Tim Barker pushed for a maximum sentence of 40-80 years while seeking to merge charges into three groups for sentencing purposes.
Barker noted Seecharran was on parole from a federal heroin case while he was supplying the drugs that led to this case. He also believed the “prognosis for rehabilitation is that poor for this individual.”
Seecharran’s attorney, George Marros, sought a lighter term, with counts running concurrently, as he argued the DA’s proposed sentence was excessive and left little opportunity for rehabilitation and almost no chance Seecharran would leave prison alive.
“Statistically, he would probably die in state prison,” Marros said. “I don’t think a sentence of 40-80 years for Mr. Seecharran would serve any justice at this point.”
Seecharran, as he addressed the court, indicated he has evidence he intends to bring to light in his appeal of his verdict.
Snyder told Seecharran his impression of him after presiding over the trial and reviewing the materials in the case left him shaking his head.
“I think you think you’re nothing more than a businessman, and the death of your customer is just, you know, par for the course. And that’s disconcerting to say the least,” Snyder said. “To me, you’re clearly, if left to your own devices, going to hurt somebody else.”
Snyder’s sentence called for 20 to 40 years in prison on the murder count; 20 to 40 years on the merged counts of conspiracy to commit murder, drug delivery and conspiracy to commit drug delivery resulting in death, with that term running at the same time as the murder term; eight to 16 years on merged counts of drug delivery resulting in death and drug delivery to run consecutive of the other terms; and another consecutive two to four years on the merged counts of corrupt organization and conspiracy to engage in such.
The total for all the terms amounted to 30 to 60 years in state prison.
Marros also sought to withdraw as Seecharran’s attorney after the sentencing, describing difficulties that arose between the two.
Snyder decided Marros could withdraw after he files a post-sentence motion on Seecharran’s behalf in order to preserve his appellate rights. Once Marros withdraws, Snyder said an attorney from the public defender’s office would be appointed to take over the case.
Another man involved in the case, David Taylor, of Newberry Township, is scheduled to appear in court Monday, Feb. 14, for a plea hearing. He faces the same 14 counts Seecharran was charged with and had testified as a witness during the trial.
Seecharran was originally scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 13, but the hearing was delayed for about three weeks while he was quarantined at York County Prison during an outbreak of COVID-19.
— Aimee Ambrose can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @aimee_TYD.