SUNBURY – A 2018 Coal Township murder witness has to wait to see if a Northumberland County judge will dismiss him.
Middleburg, 22, Seth Lytle appeared on Tuesday with Lafayette Hill attorney James Lyon before Judge Hugh Jones to argue that robbery and related charges should be dismissed. Lytle is charged with robbery that hinders prosecution and the wrongdoing of false testimony to authorities related to the 2018 murder of David Rivera.
Lytle is alleged to have helped plot a robbery against Aaron Adams with John Feather, Madison Collins and Rivera. When the meeting was held in Shamokin, there was an attempt to take the marijuana by force, and then Adam’s friend, then 17, shot and killed Sabian Ebersole Rivera, police said.
Adams testified that Collins asked him to buy marijuana, but hesitated after hearing that Collins and Rivera were robbing people. When he got to the scene, Rivera allegedly told Adams that he was about to be robbed.
Adams testified that he pushed Rivera, who struck Adams, and Adams fell. Rivera then jumped on Adams and hit him more than 10 times, Adams said.
“I went black, I was passed out,” said Adams. “I woke up to a bang and David was shot.”
He said he heard someone scream for calling the police. It wasn’t until later, when Adams saw Lytle at the police station, that he recognized Lytle’s voice as the one shouting over the police.
Coal Township detective Matthew Hashuga testified that messages between Lytle and the others revealed that they were planning to rob someone else and that Collins was drug dealing with Rivera. He testified that Lytle’s story was constantly changing.
Twenty-six minutes passed between Lytle telling them Rivera had gone and the police officers who saw Rivera die in a grove of trees, Hashuga testified.
Lyons said in his concluding arguments that no evidence was presented showing that Lytle intended to rob Adams. In fact, the robbery they talked about on the news never took place, and Adams never identified Lytle at the scene.
Jones said he would take the arguments into account and issue an order at a later date.
Ebersole, who has been charged with murder, is due to be selected by the jury in January and put on trial. Ebersole, Feather and Lytle are due to come to Saylor for a hearing on criminal complaints on December 22nd at 9:15 a.m. The case against the then 16-year-old Collins was referred back to the juvenile court.