Berks County mother accused in children's hanging deaths ordered to trial

A judge has ordered a Berks County mother to stand trial on murder charges in the hanging deaths of her two young children.

Authorities discovered the bodies of Brinley and Connor Snyder, ages 4 and 8 respectively, in the basement of their Albany Township home on Sept. 23, 2019.

The children were found “hanging approximately three feet apart from a single wired cable with plastic coating," according to authorities.

A district judge made the ruling Wednesday after hearing almost four hours of testimony in the case of 37-year-old Lisa Snyder. She’s charged with two counts of first and third-degree murder, evidence tampering, and animal cruelty, including intercourse with an animal.

Lisa Snyder, 36, is accused of fatally hanging her own two children with a dog leash she purchased the morning they were killed. Photo: Berks County District Attorneys Office

Lisa Snyder, 36, is accused of fatally hanging her two children with a dog lead she purchased the morning they were killed.


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Timeline of deaths of 2 children found hanging in Berks County

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Snyder was photographed outside the home where her two children were found deceased.

Defense attorney Dennis Charles argued Wednesday that the prosecution’s case amounted to only “speculation and guesswork.” Assistant District Attorney Margaret McCallum said Snyder was the only adult in the house when the children were found. They died three days later.

Snyder has maintained that the children killed themselves. She had alleged that 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 wasn’t physically capable of harming himself or his sister in that way.

The children had been removed from Snyder’s care in 2014 before they were returned early 2015. Children Protective Services had been involved with the family until November 2015.

The judge scheduled Snyder’s formal arraignment for March 12. Prosecutors must let the court know by that date whether they plan to seek the death penalty in the event the defendant is convicted of first-degree murder.

Berks County authorities said the hearing was moved to Reading from a Hamburg district court office due to security concerns.


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The Associated Press contributed to this report.