Judge gives Darcy more than 15 years for May 2017 murder

Anthony Darcy (Shawnee Co. Dept of Corrections)

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- Based on 84-year-old Anthony N. Darcy's advanced age, the three prison sentences he received Friday in the shooting death of a father in front of his 8-year-old son in 2017 was a life term, Shawnee County District Attorney Mike Kagay and the victim's step-mother said outside court.

The three crimes a Shawnee County District Court jury convicted Darcy of were intentional second-degree murder, aggravated assault and aggravated endangering of a child. Jurors reached the verdict on August 19. Darcy originally was charged with first-degree murder.

On Friday, District Court Judge David Debenham sentenced Darcy to:
-- 13 years and nine months for the second-degree murder;
-- One year and one month for the aggravated assault;
-- Seven months for the aggravated endangering of a child.

That totals 15 years and five months. The judge credited Darcy with serving 921 days of his sentence while he was in jail awaiting the start of his trial. That equals just over two-and-a-half years.

Kagay asked the judge to impose the maximum sentences possible, and Debenham did so.

The murder of Stephen Matthew Snyder, 36, was "especially heartless," Kagay said. "It was a senseless murder, it was a cowardly act by someone lashing out."

Defense attorney Napoleon Crews asked the judge to impose the lowest sentences possible, noting Darcy was having "menal difficulty," Darcy's advanced age, and that part of his right leg had been amputated recently due to an infection.

When Darcy shot Snyder, he believed he was acting in self defense, and Darcy will have to live with that for the rest of his life, Crews said.

"I have nothing to say," Darcy said when given an opportunity to speak before he was sentenced.

"Your actions show you are a danger to society," the judge told Darcy, adding that the defendant wasn't a victim and that Darcy expressed no remorse for his actions.

The judge also ordered Darcy to re-pay $5,000 to the Kansas Crime Victims Compensation Board, which covers costs to the victims, and a $200 fee to enter Darcy's DNA into the Kansas DNA system.

Darcy told the judge his assets are Social Security payments and $50 a month from an annuity. Darcy said he had other assets, but he's lost track of them since he was arrested. Darcy was selling his house to Snyder when he was slain. The house sale and the structure's value weren't discussed on Friday.

Outside court, Kagay said his office sought the highest sentences possible.

"We did that because we believe the defendant's actions were cruel, heartless and cowardly given the fact he decided to murder Stephen Snyder in front of his own son, the fact that that son was in fear for his own life," Kagay said.

It was "appropriate" the judge chose to do so, the district attorney said.

The sentences weren't longer because Darcy didn't have any earlier criminal history, meaning he never had been convicted of offenses prior to the crimes he was sentenced for on Friday, Kagay said.

"I take that as a life sentence based on the defendant's age," Kagay said. "I don't expect that he'll ever be released from prison. That's appropriate given that he's a threat to the community."

After the sentencing, Judy Snyder, Stephen Snyder's step-mother, said she didn't think he would live long enough to complete his sentences.

"As long as he isn't able to cause someone pain," she said.

Stephen Snyder's son, Landon Snyder, now is 11 years old.

In 2017, Cristina Decker and Matthew Snyder, who had been in a relationship more than two years, were looking for a bigger house to be a home for their blended family of three children in a better neighborhood. On March 23, 2017, Decker met Darcy when she looked at his home at 3031 S.W. 33rd after she found it on Craigslist.

The couple and their children toured Darcy's house and liked it, and the sale-by-owner of the house progressed with the help of a realtor, Decker testified.

The closing on the house was on April 27, 2017.

Darcy's attitude about allowing the buyers inside the house soured before they took possession of the house.

On May 1, 2017, the day of the shooting, Darcy called Snyder to say it was OK for Snyder to come to the house about 6 p.m. that day, according to earlier testimony.

During the trial, Dr. Charles Glenn, who was the Shawnee County Coroner in 2017, testified Snyder was struck in the torso by three gunshots, one of which wouldn't have been survivable, and the other two were potentially lethal.

Snyder was shot by Darcy as he fled from the front door of the 3031 S.W. 33rd Street house. Snyder died at the scene.