A 40-year-old Hunlock Creek man was sentenced Wednesday to 30-60 years in state prison for stabbing three individuals in a Tunkhannock home last spring with a folding hunting-type knife.
Shawn C. Conklin appeared in the Wyoming County Court of Common Pleas and told President Judge Russell Shurtleff, “I’d like to apologize for all of the trouble I’ve caused. I’m deeply sorry.”
His attorney, Steven Franko, said, “My client was not under medication when this incident took place and I ask for a lower range sentence that allows him a proper mental health evaluation.”
However, District Attorney Jeff Mitchell called two persons to the stand who wanted something definitely on the higher end.
Karen Conklin, the defendant’s wife said that for two months following the April 18, 2015, incident at a home in the Rivercrest Subdivision, people had to feed her and bathe her because of her injuries.
“The pain I’ve had to bear is something no one should have to face,” she said regarding the 14 stab wounds she received. “You have scarred me for life.”
Donnie Seymore told the judge that his then 17-year-old daughter was stabbed nine times with the wounds requiring four surgeries, and over 1,000 stitches, including 200 in her mouth.
He looked at the defendant and asked, “How would you feel if I did that to your daughter?”
“I just want to know why. Why? You weren’t on drugs. For what reason would you do this?” He asked again.
“It’s taken everything from me not to go after you for what you did to my daughter,” Seymore added. “Rest assured that I will never forget you. Every time you go up for parole, you can be sure I will be there to make sure you don’t get out”
Mitchell said the acts against the three different individuals were senseless and just don’t add up, and “I’m asking for the maximum – for a total of 48 years.”
For the attack on his wife, Conklin faced a charge of criminal attempt to commit murder in the third degree, and the judge sentenced him to 20-40 years in prison and $3,122.92 in restitution.
For the attack on Shellie Seymore, the 17-year-old girl identified in her father’s testimony, Conklin faced a charge of aggravated assault and was sentenced to 5-10 years in prison.
For the attack on a third victim, identified in court papers as Conklin’s brother-in-law, Harold Christofferson, who had stab wounds from his neck to his torso, he faced a charge of aggravated assault and was sentenced to 5-10 years in prison.
In coming down with a sentence in the aggravated range, Judge Shurtleff noted that each victim was defenseless and to top it off, there were children in the home.
“Any lesser of a sentence would depreciate the defendant’s actions,” he said.