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North pleads no contest in death of former employer

September 17, 2009|By JENNIFER FITCH

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -- A former Fannettsburg, Pa., man pleaded no contest Thursday to third-degree murder in the August 2006 death of his former employer.

Scott Nathan North, 29, was sentenced by Franklin County Court President Judge Douglas Herman to 20 to 40 years in state prison on the murder charge. An additional two to seven years were added for an escape charge connected to North walking away from his Franklin County Jail work-release job.

Prosecutors maintained that North left his Shippensburg, Pa., job, then killed Carl Ryder and used Ryder's driver's license and credit cards. Ryder's body was found Aug. 16, 2006, in Huntingdon County, Pa.

Pennsylvania State Police cited DNA evidence when announcing they had charged North 19 months later.

"They say it gets better through time, but it don't," said Clinton Ryder, the victim's brother.

Carl Ryder's body was found in an "advanced form of decay" and was identified through dental records, police testified. The body was found in a cleared pipeline, partially obscured by a tree that had been pulled over it, according to police.

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"You could smell the body, but not see it" from the road, Cpl. Daniel Sneath said in court in June 2008.

Clinton Ryder said his brother did nothing but help North by lending him money and taking him on vacation. North worked for Ryder's fencing business.

"I think about it every day and every night," Clinton Ryder said.

Cindy Ryder said North showed no emotion or remorse when she and other family members made victims' statements.

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