Pa. Mom on Trial for Allegedly Hanging 2 Kids, Blaming Deaths on Son, 8, She Claimed Was Suicidal
A judge has decided the Pennsylvania mother accused of hanging her two children back in September — and staging it to look like a murder-suicide, committed by the eldest child — will soon stand trial on murder charges.
Online records confirm that Lisa Snyder, 37, will be tried for first- and third-degree murder as well as tampering with evidence, endangering the welfare of children, animal cruelty and sexual intercourse with a dog. However, no trial date has been set yet.
Snyder was arrested in December for the hanging deaths of her son, Conner Snyder, 8, and daughter Brinley Snyder, 4.
Snyder told police she had returned to her Albany Township home on Sept. 23 to find the two children hanging from a support beam in the basement from opposite ends of a dog lead. Two chairs were found overturned beneath them.
When she called 911, she told police Conner was the target of school bullies, and that he had made suicidal comments before, including one threat in which she said he’d specified that he “didn’t want to go alone.”
But investigators would learn from relatives, friends, and school officials that Conner seemed happy and was never bullied at school.
A motive for the killings has not been disclosed.
The Morning Call of Allentown reports Snyder went before a Berks County judge on Wednesday, where the court heard preliminary testimony from some of the prosecution’s witnesses.
One of them was Snyder’s friend, Jessica Senft. Snyder did not react to her testimony Wednesday.
Senft said Wednesday that, while the two were having drinks a week after her children died, Snyder expressed nervousness, telling the friend she thought she would eventually be arrested for their murders.
Senft testified that Snyder allegedly told her she believed she would be released on bail, at which point she would kill herself. But after her arrest in December, she was ordered held without bail.
Senft also testified that Snyder allegedly admitted using Conner’s Google profile to conduct internet searches for various suicide methods, and that she said she suffered from depression.
Also taking the stand Wednesday was paramedic Eric Bubbenmoyer, who was one of the first to respond to the home last September. He said he ran into the home, passing Snyder who was sitting on the front steps of the house, talking on her cellphone.
Bubbenmoyer described Snyder as “very anxious, very nervous,” but added, “she was not crying,” according to the paper.
Pennsylvania State Trooper Jeffrey Hummel testified that he helped carry the children out of the basement on stretchers after they were declared deceased.
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According to the Morning Call, Hummel nearly sobbed when asked to identify the children from photos.
When Snyder’s attorney, Dennis Charles, asked Hummel why he was so upset about the deaths of two children he didn’t even know, he replied, “I’m human.”
Snyder has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges against her.
Police have alleged they uncovered sexually explicit images during their investigation showing Snyder with the family’s dog.