Guilty verdict in 2nd trial in hatchet death
A second trial resulted in the conviction Tuesday of a man who killed his father in Rangely with a hatchet in 2009.
A nine-woman, three-man jury in Glenwood Springs convicted Jerry D. Snider Jr., 31, of murder and aggravated robbery, the 9th Judicial District Attorney’s Office said in a news release.
Snider was accused of striking his father, Jerry Snider Sr., in the head nine times with a hatchet, and then stealing his wallet, credit cards and truck.
He pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. A trial in Meeker earlier this year resulted in a hung jury that voted 11–1 in favor of conviction. The retrial was held in Glenwood Springs to make it easier to seat jurors unfamiliar with the case.
Snider is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 9. A two-time convicted felon prior to his father’s murder, he faces a potential sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole plus 48 years, the District Attorney’s Office said.
District Attorney Martin Beeson said in the news release he is pleased with the verdict.
“The jury took its job seriously and did the right thing. That’s all we as prosecutors and representatives of the people can ever ask,” he said.
Snider’s first trial lasted more than five weeks. Jury selection for the retrial took two weeks, and opening arguments began May 17. Jurors began deliberating the case Monday.
Snider’s public defenders argued he was a paranoid schizophrenic who heard imaginary voices before killing his father. But prosecutors said that although he suffered from paranoia and hallucinations, he didn’t meet the definition for being legally insane because his mental condition was the result of voluntary alcohol and substance abuse.
He had extensively abused alcohol and drugs since he was 15, and at the time of the murder was in the throes of alcohol withdrawal following a seven- to 10-day drinking binge, prosecutors said.