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Thursday, July 20, 2017 12:00 pm

Man gets 65 years for fatal stabbing

FRANK GRAY | The Journal Gazette

Aaryn Snyder, 32, who confessed to stabbing a man to death last August because he was black, was sentenced to 65 years in prison Thursday in Allen Superior Court.

Snyder had pleaded guilty but mentally ill in the killing of Samuel Hardrix, 22, whose body was found in the back yard of a home in the 1400 block of Schilling Avenue.

Shirley Hardrix, Samuel's mother, made a statement to the court, telling Snyder he had butchered her son, and that he had destroyed his body but not his soul.

She said Snyder had shed blood for nothing and that Snyder would never be able to erase the blood from his hands. She quoted the Bible, "Vengeance is mine," and told Snyder the burden on him would eventually be too heavy for him to stand.

She concluded that Snyder really deserved the death penalty.

In a rambling statement, Snyder talked of how he had grown up in a segregated world and hated the world.

He said that at the time of the killing he was on spice, bath salts and heroin. He said he had made several suicide attempts while in various jails. He also expressed sadness for hurting his grandfather, who is a pastor, his church, his wife and his children.

The prosecution noted that Snyder's criminal history goes back to when he was 14 and asked for the maximum sentence.

Judge John Surbeck acknowledged that Snyder, while held at the Allen County Jail on other charges, sought out a jail employee to confess to the killing.

Surbeck, though, said that stabbing is a very violent, personal way of killing someone and drug addictions can no longer be used as a shield to criminal offenses.

He also noted that Snyder had remorse, but it was for himself and those close to him, not for the victim or his family.

The defense asked that Snyder be sentenced to a facility where he can get mental health treatment on a daily basis.