It may have taken 39 years for justice to find its way to Roy Snell, but on Wednesday a jury found him guilty of murder. In January he will receive his long overdue sentencing for the crime.
Newaygo County Prosecuting Attorney, Worth Stay, announced that Roy Lesando Snell, of Minneapolis, was found guilty on November 16, 2022 after a nearly three week jury trial regarding the August 10, 1983 disappearance of Rick Atwood.
Snell was found guilty of Homicide Felony Murder, in violation of MCL 750.316, and Weapons - Felony Firearm, in violation of MCL 750.227b. Felony Murder carries a mandatory sentence of life without parole. Felony firearm carries a penalty of two years consecutively and preceding any term of imprisonment for the underlying felony. The case was a joint prosecution of the Newaygo County Prosecuting Attorney and Michigan Attorney General's Office..
Sentencing is scheduled for January 9, 2023 in the Newaygo County Circuit Court, White Cloud, Michigan.
As Prosecutor Stay explained: "I am heartened that the family of Rick Atwood may begin to find some closure in this verdict. I thank the jury for their service during this lengthy trial.
"This result would not have been possible without the efforts of many individuals. I thank the cold case team, which was comprised of members of the Newaygo County Sheriff's Department and Michigan State Police. I would particularly like to highlight the tireless work of retired Detective Scott Rios. Detective Rios never gave up on this case and worked past his retirement to ensure every fact and circumstance was investigated and able to be presented to a jury."
Prosecutor Stay continued: "I would also like to thank First Assistant Attorney General William Rollstin and Assistant Attorney General Dan Gunderson for the skill and dedication that they brought to this case. Their work, in conjunction with the resources of Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel's office, ensured that Rick Atwood was not forgotten."