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Franklin Co. Jail inmate faces long list of new charges

Scott Nathan North is charged with burglary, criminal trespass, forgery and access fraud, theft, false identification to law enf

Scott Nathan North is charged with burglary, criminal trespass, forgery and access fraud, theft, false identification to law enf

June 03, 2008|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, PA. -- Pennsylvania State Police on Monday filed a long list of new charges against Scott Nathan North, a Franklin County Jail inmate charged last month with criminal homicide in the 2006 death of Carl Ryder.

North, 26, of Chambersburg, was scheduled for a preliminary hearing Tuesday in Central Court, but Assistant District Attorney Angela Krom said it was rescheduled for June 19 at 9:30 a.m. before Senior Magisterial District Judge Brenda Knepper in Courtroom 1.

The new charges filed with Knepper included escape; two counts each of burglary, criminal trespass, forgery and access device fraud; several theft counts; and one count each of false identification to law enforcement and fleeing and eluding police.

North is also charged with abuse of a corpse, stemming from moving Ryder's body from his Amberson, Pa., home in Franklin County to where it was found dumped along a roadside in rural Huntingdon County. The affidavit of probable cause stated that police interviewed North on May 8, at which time he admitted putting the body in the trunk of Ryder's 1991 Ford Crown Victoria and driving it to where it was found by a passer-by on Aug. 16, 2006.

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An autopsy of the badly decomposed body determined Ryder died of blunt force trauma, police said.

Several of the charges were filed against North previously, but later withdrawn, including the escape charge in Franklin County and the fleeing and false identification charges in Huntingdon County, according to court records. Jurisdiction in the case was transferred from Huntingdon County to Franklin County earlier this year as evidence indicated Ryder had been killed at his home on Drifted Lane.

North was serving a burglary sentence when he failed to return from a work release assignment on Aug. 2, 2006, police said. On Aug. 10, police were tipped off that North had just left a Huntingdon County bar.

When pulled over, North was driving Ryder's car and told a trooper he was Ryder, police said. He showed the trooper Ryder's license and tried to explain the lack of resemblance by telling him he had undergone plastic surgery, police said.

The trooper ordered him out of the car, but North sped off and the ensuing chase ended in Mifflin County, police said.

When he was charged on May 9 with Ryder's death, police said blood evidence at Ryder's home indicated he had died there. Ryder's blood also was found in the trunk of his car and on an address book belonging to North, police said.

The affidavit for the new charges stated that there was evidence that Ryder's mobile home and an adjacent cabin had been broken into. Police said a search of Ryder's vehicle and home turned up receipts for Wal-Mart, Food Lion, Kmart stores and other stores in Waynesboro, Pa., and Chambersburg dated between Aug. 7 and 10.

Ryder's sister told police on Aug. 11 that she had not heard from her brother in several days, which she said was unusual.

The owner of the cabin told police there were indications someone had been inside on Aug. 4 or 5, leaving a window open, an air-conditioner running and sleeping on top of the covers of a bed. Two backpacks were on the floor, one of which had a picture identification card for North, police said.

While the affidavit stated that North spoke to police about moving Ryder's body, it did not indicate he admitted to the killing. Krom said she cannot comment on any statements North made to police.

Krom said it is also too early to speculate on whether North could face the death penalty. Under Pennsylvania law, that would require the prosecution to file a notice of aggravating circumstances on or before mandatory arraignment, which is weeks away in North's case.

Several of the charges against North are felonies and the commission of a murder during perpetration of a felony is one of 18 aggravating circumstances under the state's death penalty law.

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