Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era
East Earl man gets jail for shooting
BY BRETT HAMBRIGHT, Staff Writer
An East Earl Township man will spend up to 10 years in prison for shooting his friend in the stomach during a game of Russian roulette.
A local judge called Kurt Schnoor and the man he shot, Michael DeBoard, "idiots" for playing the game during a night of drinking.
Judge Howard Knisely ordered that Schnoor spend 3½ to 10 years in state prison for the March 3 shooting at his home.
"This victim was shot in the stomach while playing Russian roulette," Knisely told Schnoor, as DeBoard listened from the gallery. "It still baffles me that two gentlemen who were obviously friends could possibly do something this stupid.
"It has destroyed the physical condition of one and probably the mental condition of another."
DeBoard, 50, testified that he spent six weeks in a hospital immediately after being shot and has been in and out of treatment ever since.
"I almost died," he said. "They operated on me twice. I couldn't eat for three months."
Schnoor, 49, turned and apologized to DeBoard prior to being sentenced.
"I want to apologize to Mike," he said. "I can understand his anger."
Defense lawyer Jeffrey Conrad asked Knisely for a two-year minimum sentence, but the judge declined the request.
Knisely noted that Schnoor knew the .357 caliber pistol was loaded and that DeBoard, at one point, asked that Schnoor put it away.
After the shot was fired, Schnoor waited 10 minutes to call 9-1-1, Knisely said.
"If Mr. DeBoard had that gun, I'm sure testimony would be equal in both directions: good men (with) no records, hard workers," Knisely said, "but idiots with how they treated each other with a loaded gun."
Several of Schnoor's co-workers and his boss testified that they were shocked to hear about the charges against Schnoor, which included aggravated assault and reckless endangerment.
Conrad told Knisely that the incident was just a "snapshot" of Schnoor's character; he has otherwise led a crime-free life.
He graduated from Millersville University with magna cum laude honors, Conrad pointed out, and worked the past 10 years as an accountant.
"This is a nonviolent person," Conrad told the judge.
Knisely acknowledged Schnoor's stellar educational and work background.
"That level of intelligence was not adhered to on the date of this incident," the judge said.