LEWISBURG — A man from Mifflinburg pleaded guilty Wednesday to stabbing a man to death almost three years ago.
Seth Hornberger of Mifflinburg pleaded guilty to one felony count of voluntary manslaughter. He was immediately sentenced to three to six years in state prison. He was also given 14 years’ probation and must pay restitution.
A jury had already found Hornberger guilty of these charges almost two years ago.
Hornberger went to trial in 2012 on charges he killed a man near Selinsgrove. A jury convicted him of third degree murder, but because a judge misread instructions to the jury about the right to defend yourself Hornberger appealed and was granted a new trial.
Instead, he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter.
Hornberger was quiet as he was led into the Union County Courthouse. Once inside, he pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter.
Hornberger admits he stabbed Alan Martin to death at an apartment near Selinsgrove.
Hornberger will receive credit for about two years already served. After he is released from prison, Hornberger faces 14 years of probation. He is not allowed to drink or be around alcohol that entire time.
Hornberger was arrested shortly after the deadly stabbing in March of 2011. The following year, a jury in Snyder County found Hornberger guilty of third degree murder.
Hornberger was later granted a new trial. An appeals court ruled that the judge had misread instructions to the jury, dealing with the right to defend yourself.
“What we had argued at the first trial was that this was self-defense of a third party and that certainly would have been our defense at a retrial,” said defense attorney E.J. Rymsza.
“Just because he was crashing there for the night doesn’t mean he should argue that this was his home, this was his castle. and he’s allowed to defend it. That’s what it was about, whether he was required to retreat before using deadly force,” said Snyder County District Attorney Mike Piecuch.
Hornberger apologized in court to the family of Alan Martin and said he was sorry for what happened.