Victim’s father speaks out on killers’ sentence

By on December 10, 2014

The father of Ashley Kline spoke out Tuesday night about his feelings on the sentencing of the men who savagely killed his daughter.

Ashley Kline

Ashley Kline

Ryan Schannauer and Adam Lynch pleaded guilty Monday in Lancaster County Court to avoid the death penalty for the murder of Ashley Kline. Judge David L. Ashworth sentenced Schannauer, 20, and Lynch, 21, to life in prison plus 20 to 40 years.

Two former Cocalico High School students, Schannauer and Lynch, were accused in January in the killing of 23-year-old Ashley Kline on Dec. 30, 2013.

The Lancaster County District Attorney’s office said it had complied with Ashley’s father, Michael Kline, who said the plea arrangement “was the best outcome.”

Mike Kline submitted his Facebook response to the Ephrata Review for publication on Wednesday morning.

In his Tuesday night Facebook missive, Kline responded to the many complaints on social media about the DA’s decision not to go for the death penalty.

Lancaster County District Attorney’s office last month announced that a plea deal where both men would be spared the death penalty if each would plead guilty to murder.

Ryan Schannauer

Ryan Schannauer

Adam Lynch

Adam Lynch

Police took the men in custody and charged they drove Kline to Middle Creek Wildlife Refuge in Clay Township. Police say the men brutally beat her, stabbed her, and set her on fire.

“I want to first start off by saying before I fully understood everything, I too was infuriated with the sentencing they were pushing for &tstr; life with no parole and NOT the death penalty because of a plea bargain,” Kline stated on Facebook.

Kline noted that people hardly ever get the death penalty in Pennsylvania or any state.

“…even when they do, the person has a huge wide field of different appeals they can keep bringing up if they do end up with the death penalty, thus pushing their date further and further away (in most cases just dying of old age instead, because of countless appeals,” Kline wrote.

He noted that the last person in Pennsylvania to receive the “death penalty was back in 1996.” This is what he wrote:

“The thing about the plea bargain is now that they pleaded guilty, they have taken away numerous amounts of appeals they could try to dig up,” he noted. “While sitting in the courtroom I listened to the judge spend over 10 minutes on each of the boys going over different questions like ‘this is the signed plead bargain.

‘Is this your signature?’ ‘Are you on or have you ever been on prescription drugs? If so, will it affect the way you are pleading today?’ ‘Do you plead guilty?’ Just questions that they couldn’t take away later. By pleading guilty you give up a lot of your rights, and that includes bringing up numerous appeals.

“The boys got life in prison without the possibility of parole plus 20-40 years. And as the judge said right to them you WILL die in prison! I’m glad it came out the way it did. They had their trial and sentencing in a matter of 45 minutes. If it would be the death penalty charge (which most likely not end in them dying from the death penalty) it would of been a week long (or longer) trial, with a jury and witnesses etc. It would of been a very long, messy, stressful, and extremely emotional burden on the family. They would of just appealed their sentencing countless times afterwards and we (the family) would be pulled into just another trial.

“Believe me, I wish they could really be punished. I don’t think they deserve to sleep warm in a bed and have three meals a day for the rest of their lives. But in our justice system, this is the best thing to happen. They will never have a normal outside life. They can never do this again to someone. I wish they could get the worst punishment ever. But nothing we do will ever bring back Ashley. And I firmly believe they will get their ultimate punishment once they die.”

Patrick Burns is a staff writer for the Lititz Record Express. He welcomes your questions and comments and can be reached at or at 721-4455

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