Accused killer, shooting victim's son both take stand in Darcy murder trial

Stephen Snyder (Photo submitted)
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- When forced to provide a key to residents who had just bought his home, Anthony Darcy said he packed a holstered .38-caliber revolver. He feared for his life because the key would be used to break in while he lived there and he fatally shot one of the two buyers, he testified Thursday.

Anthony N. Darcy testified almost two hours before he finished and rolled his wheelchair back to the defense table. His testimny came just hours after the victim's son took the stand to recount the moments he saw his father killed.

The trial in Shawnee County District Court will resume Friday with prosecutors and defense attorneys making closing statements. Then, jurors will decide whether to convict or acquit Darcy.

Darcy is charged with premeditated first-degree murder of Stephen Matthew Snyder; aggravated assault with a deadly weapon; and aggravated endangering of a child younger than 18, according to court records.

Darcy said he carried the pistol on his hip "at all times" including when Stephen Snyder, 36, arrived at the home at 3031 S.W. 33rd to examine the carpet.
Snyder, his girlfriend, Cristina Decker, and their blended family of two children had bought the house from Darcy in late April 2017. Darcy remained in the house as part of a two-week lease agreement.

Snyder and his 8-year-old son, Landon Snyder, rode in the dad's pickup truck to the house.

Snyder and his son walked to the front door, and Darcy heard a knock on the door.

In the doorway, Darcy and Snyder spoke congenially at first, then they exchanged remarks, and Darcy said Snyder "burst into" his house, where Darcy felt threatened.

Darcy said he felt Snyder would tear him apart or kill him, and Darcy said he raised both his hands, holding the revolver in his right hand, then shot Snyder once.

Snyder turned away, and Darcy shot him two more time, he testified.

"I don't know why," Darcy said. "I was scared to death and I was trying to save my life," Darcy told jurors.

Darcy unloaded the pistol and called 911 to report the shooting. The father, who was shot three times, died on the sidewalk in front of the house, and his 8-year-old son escaped without injury from the gunfire.

Darcy prefaced many of the questions asked of him that he couldn't remember details of the incident.

Darcy, who spent most of his life in California, had been a real estate broker for much of his life, primarily in commercial real estate.

Earlier in day, Snyder's son, now 10 and a fifth grader,testified about an hour.

The boy said his family was buying a house at 3031 S.W. 33rd.

Who owned the house? Landon was asked.

"Him," the boy said, pointing to Darcy.

On May 1, 2017, the father and son drove to the Darcy home to look at the carpet.

His father was "happy" and "excited." After parking the father's pickup in the driveway, the two walked to the front door, the boy said.

Stephen Snyder and a man were talking at the door.
"I don't remember what they were saying," Landon said.

"It was kind of aggressive," the boy said. "They were raising their voices to each other. I was getting nervous," due to the aggression.

"Dude!" Landon quoted his father as saying, but the boy didn't know what "Dude" referred to.

"I saw a small hole in my dad's stomach" and heard a bang, Landon said.

Landon began running after hearing the bang.

His father "started running with me," Landon said.
"I saw my dad on the ground bleeding," then heard two more bangs, he said.

Landon didn't see who shot his father, but he thinks he saw the firearm, which he identified as a revolver.

He saw his father on the sidewalk.

"I waited there a little bit crying," Landon said.
The boy said he didn't see his father nor the other man try to hit each other.

Before going to the house, the boy's father didn't express concern there would be a problem at the house.

Landon testified for about 45 minutes on Thursday morning.

During his testimony, the boy didn't identify the gunman as Darcy.