Former Pack star Snyder convicted in Ohio break-in
LEBANON, Ohio – Former NBA player Kirk Snyder was convicted Thursday of breaking into a neighbor’s home in the middle of the night and beating him up in his bedroom.
A Warren County jury found the 26-year-old former University of Nevada star guilty of aggravated burglary, felonious assault and assault. The jury had deliberated for less than a day following testimony in the trial, which began Monday.
Snyder broke into the home of dentists Brad and Eugenia Roberts in Deerfield Township, north of Cincinnati, on March 30, 2009. He smashed their rear French doors with a landscape rock and charged through the house to the master bedroom, shoving Eugenia Roberts aside before pummeling Brad Roberts with his fists and then with an alarm clock, prosecutors said. He could receive up to 18 years in prison at his sentencing next month.
Snyder was the 16th player taken in the 2004 NBA draft. He played for the Utah Jazz, New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets, Houston Rockets and Minnesota Timberwolves between 2004 and 2008 and then played a season in China.
Snyder has been treated for mental illness and had pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.
On Wednesday, Dr. Mel Nizny, who saw Snyder in jail a week after the attack, testified that Snyder, who suffers from bipolar disorder, psychosis and paranoia, is not legally responsible for his actions.
“He starts hitting Dr. Roberts, for what reason? He has no clue,” Nizny testified for the defense. “He doesn’t know why. There was no provocation.”
Nizny said that in his first meeting with Snyder the former pro basketball player didn’t want to talk to him.
“He was not in touch with reality,” Nizny said. “He barely knew he was in the jail or why he was there.”
The prosecution’s expert, Dr. Kim Stookey, testified that she found Snyder was not insane when he attacked his neighbor. Stookey said he went in by the back door away from view, cinched his hooded sweat shirt over his face to disguise his identity and fled the scene to avoid detection. Those actions, she said, prove he knew what he was doing was wrong.
Snyder moved to his posh town house in Deerfield Township in September 2008 after his wife kicked him out of their farm house in Bethel and just before he went to play basketball in China. He returned from China last March, meeting the Robertses a couple of days before the break-in.
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