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Parents Who Killed Son They Adopted From China Are Sentenced

An Ohio couple who were found guilty of abusing their children, including five they had adopted from China, were sentenced on Thursday in the murder of an 8-year-old boy, Hamilton County prosecutors announced.

John Snyder was sentenced to 29 years to life and his wife, Katherine Snyder,  was sentenced to 31 years to life in the 2016 death of Adam Snyder, who had been adopted from an orphanage in China, prosecutors in the Cincinnati trial said.

John and Katherine Snyder were sentenced in the 2016 death of 8-year-old Adam Snyder. In a courtroom photo posted on the Facebook page of the Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office, a picture of Adam is displayed next to Assistant Prosecutor Stacy Lefton.
John and Katherine Snyder were sentenced in the 2016 death of 8-year-old Adam Snyder. In a courtroom photo posted on the Facebook page of the Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office, a picture of Adam is displayed next to Assistant Prosecutor Stacy Lefton.

John and Katherine Snyder were sentenced in the 2016 death of 8-year-old Adam Snyder. In a courtroom photo posted on the Facebook page of the Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office, a picture of Adam is displayed next to Assistant Prosecutor Stacy Lefton.

According to court records reviewed by HuffPost, the couple faced a total of 26 charges and earlier this month were found guilty of murder, felonious assault and endangering children.

According to WCPO-TV in Cincinnati, prosecutors said Adam was one of the five children with learning disabilities that the Snyders had adopted from China.

Prosecutors said the couple abused all six of their children by intentionally malnourishing them and punishing them with cold baths and showers, according to a release announcing their Nov. 17 conviction.

Speaking at their trial in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court, Assistant Prosecutor Stacy Lefton said cold baths were a punishment for the children who soiled themselves, and the parents would go as far as to smear feces on them, according to WCPO.

The TV station, citing court documents, said the parents did not feed Adam from Sept. 1 to Oct. 5, 2016.

Adam had soiled himself the morning of Oct. 5, prompting his mother to slam him to the ground and take him to her husband’s office, where he laid on the floor, prosecutors said.

When John Snyder arrived, he found Adam unresponsive, and his wife eventually called 911, according to testimony.

Adam’s cause of death was listed as blunt force trauma to the head. Court records reviewed by HuffPost said that in 2019 and 2020, the couple sued Dr. Lakshmi Kode Sammarco, the Hamilton County coroner who ruled that Adam’s death was a homicide.

The couple were not immediately arrested after Adam’s death, but they lost custody of their children, according to WCPO. Court records showed they moved to New York but were arrested in 2022 and brought back to Ohio for trial.

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