Woman accused of murder, arson, dog killing considering plea deal

November 21, 2023

Hope Snyder appears in Mason County’s 51st Circuit Court.

Woman accused of murder, arson, dog killing considering plea deal

Plea offer expires in 30 days

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor

LUDINGTON — A 42-year-old Chippewa County woman accused of murder, arson and dog killing appeared in Mason County’s 51st Circuit Court Tuesday, Nov. 21, for a final pretrial hearing.

Hope Lynn Snyder is accused of killing Jeffrey Grant, 57, along with his two dogs, and burning down his residence at 3746 N. Morse Road, in Sheridan Township, Nov. 22, 2021. 

Jeffrey Grant

Michigan Assistant Attorney General Michael Doby appeared in court Tuesday via Zoom video conferencing. The assistant AG put an offer on the table last month of Snyder pleading guilty to homicide — open murder, first-degree arson, and two counts of second-degree killing/torturing animals. A charge of homicide — felony murder would be dismissed, and Snyder would receive a minimum prison term of 35-60 years. She faces up to life in prison as the maximum term for both the homicide and arson charges.

She has served prison time for two prior felonies — larceny from a building in Mackinac County and a theft charge in Alaska.

Snyder’s attorney, Tracie Dinehart, said Tuesday that she and Snyder have had an opportunity to discuss the plea deal, but as for now, the case should be placed on the trial docket. Dinehart said she is continuing conversations with the assistant attorney general and asked Judge Susan K. Sniegowski to allow the plea offer to remain open. Should the case end up going to trial she expects it to take a “minimum of a week — if not two weeks.”

Judge Sniegowski said the plea offer will remain open for 30 days, and then the case will go on the trial calendar after 30 days have expired.

“I won’t accept any plea offer in this matter” after the 30-day deadline, she said.

Snyder pleaded guilty Feb. 1, 2022 to unlawful driving away of a motor vehicle, which occurred Nov. 22, 2021. The AG said that her sentence in that case would be included in the plea deal he offered.  

During a preliminary exam in 79th District Court July 25, 2022, Mason County Sheriff’s Office Det. Sgt. Tom Posma (who is now retired) testified that Grant — the murder victim — had driven Snyder to Mackinac County Nov. 19, 2021 where she was to appear in court for a probation violation. After the fire, Snyder stole Grant’s Chevrolet Avalanche (which was registered to Victor Adamczak of Fountain) and abandoned the vehicle in a hospital parking lot in Saginaw. Later, Snyder took a flight from MBS International Airport in Saginaw to Detroit Metropolitan Airport where she had then booked a flight to Alaska. 

Mason County sheriff’s detectives were able to obtain a search warrant of Snyder’s phone and find her location. While en route to Detroit airport, Posma and Det. Mike Kenney reached out to airport police who then restrained Snyder. Posma and Kenney then conducted their first interview with Snyder at the airport and arrested her. 

Det. Kenney obtained several warrants for digital files owned by Snyder, including items from her Facebook account and Google Gmail account. During testimony, Kenney read several messages between Snyder and Jacob Snyder, along with messages between Snyder and Lawn Schroeder, who, according to a Facebook account, lives in Anchorage, Alaska. 

The Facebook messages were written Nov. 21 and 22 — the majority of which were prior to the fire on Morse Road, which was reported at 9:06 a.m.

In various messages, Snyder refers to Grant providing her with drugs. She discusses a plan that she describes as “crazy and heartless” to obtain drugs, a house, a truck and money. 

Snyder remains lodged in the Mason County Jail without bond.

Editor-in-Chief Rob Alway contributed to this article.

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