Public money granted for woman’s defense in kid’s deaths

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READING, Pa. (AP) — A judge has granted a request for taxpayer money to help pay for the defense of a woman charged with murder in the deaths of two young children found hanging in an eastern Pennsylvania basement last fall.

The (Allentown) Morning Call reports that a Berks County judge on Monday granted the defense motion to have 37-year-old Lisa Snyder considered indigent. Defense attorney Dennis Charles argued in June that Snyder’s parents were paying her legal fees and her only asset was a 2017 car; he said she needed money to hire legal experts.

Snyder is charged with first- and third-degree murder, child endangerment, and evidence-tampering in the September deaths of 4-year-old Brinley and 8-year-old Conner in the basement of her Albany Township home. Prosecutors say they will seek the death penalty if she is convicted of first-degree murder.

Charles has dismissed the case as amounting to only “speculation and guesswork.” Assistant District Attorney Margaret McCallum said Snyder was the only adult in the house when the children were found hanging in the basement of the Albany Township house. They died three days later.

Snyder has maintained that the children killed themselves. She had alleged the boy was bullied, but authorities said there was no evidence of that, and he showed no sign of distress on bus security video that day. An occupational therapist said the boy was not physically capable of harming himself or his sister in that way.

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