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Jury awards murder victim's family $1.1 million

March 07, 2011|By JENNIFER FITCH | waynesboro@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — — A Franklin County, Pa., jury on Monday awarded a murder victim’s family $1.1 million in damages.

According to a copy of the verdict, Carl Ryder’s mother, as the executor of his estate, was awarded $457,847 in lost earnings and $642,153 for pain and suffering.

In 2009, Scott Nathan North, 30, pleaded no contest to third-degree murder in the August 2006 shooting death of Ryder. He was sentenced to 20 to 40 years in state prison on that charge, along with two to seven years for an escape charge connected to walking away from his Franklin County Jail work-release job before the killing.

North, the sole defendant in the civil matter, wrote a letter saying he would not participate in the civil lawsuit, but he did complete some paperwork mailed to him at a correctional facility in Greensburg, Pa.

An “economics expert” prepared a report on the plaintiff’s behalf. A copy of that report contained within court documents detailed Ryder’s potential earnings from the date of his death to the end of his life expectancy.

Ryder, 43, was working as a self-employed fence installer when he was killed. Included in the case file is information from his 1099 tax forms, with wages listed as $30,932 for 2003, $57,470 for 2004 and $57,148 for 2005.

Court documents state the pain and suffering amount includes the distress felt by Shippensburg, Pa., resident Bonita Ryder and her family, as well as the time between when Ryder suffered the gunshot wound and when he stumbled onto a porch and died.

Pennsylvania State Police said the shooting occurred in Ryder’s home in Amberson, Pa., which is in a rural, northern portion of Franklin County. Troopers found the body of Ryder, North’s former employer, in a cleared pipeline in Huntingdon County, Pa., on Aug. 16, 2006. Investigators testified in criminal proceedings that North used Ryder’s driver’s license and credit cards.

Pennsylvania State Police cited DNA evidence when announcing they charged North 19 months after discovering Ryder’s body.

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