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Shooter in River House incident pleads guilty, sentenced to 9 to 20 years in state prison

By Dan Miller

danmiller@pressandjournal.com

717-944-4628
Posted 12/10/18

The man charged in the March 2017 shooting at the River House Bar & Grill in Londonderry Township has been sentenced to 9 to 20 years in state prison by Dauphin County Judge William Tully.Tanner …

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Shooter in River House incident pleads guilty, sentenced to 9 to 20 years in state prison

Posted

The man charged in the March 2017 shooting at River House Bar & Grill in Londonderry Township has been sentenced to 9 to 20 years in state prison.

Tanner A. Stark, 23, formerly of Mount Joy, pleaded guilty to five counts of aggravated assault, two counts of simple assault, and to one count each of carrying a firearm without a license, discharging a firearm into an occupied structure, and recklessly endangering another person, Dauphin County First Assistant District Attorney Michael A. Sprow told the Press & Journal on Monday.

Stark had been facing three separate counts of criminal attempt-murder of the first degree. However, these counts were withdrawn as part of a plea bargain arrangement agreed to by the DA’s office and by Stark’s defense attorney, George Matangos.

The plea and sentencing took place before Dauphin County Judge William Tully on Thursday.

Matangos did not return a phone call seeking comment.

The agreement reached “was in the interest of justice, and took into account the seriousness of the conduct,” Sprow said.

According to State Police arrest records and testimony from Stark’s June 2017 preliminary hearing before District Judge David Judy, Stark began shooting outside River House, 2495 E Harrisburg Pike, at about 1:30 a.m. March 24, 2017.

The incident started after two bouncers escorted him out of the bar after seeing Stark carrying a handgun inside the restaurant.

One of the bullets fired by Stark hit the leg of a man who was on the patio, according to police.

Police say Stark fired at the two bouncers, and then was confronted in the parking lot by two men: David Seesholtz, who was a customer in the River House at the time, and River House bartender Andy Cole.

Stark shot Cole three times, according to Sprow. Seesholtz testified that as he was on the ground with Cole, Stark started walking toward the two men.

Seesholtz with his own weapon then fired seven or eight rounds at Stark. Stark was shot several times during the incident, his previous defense lawyer Jerry Russo said during the preliminary hearing.

Stark has been in Dauphin County Prison since he was arrested by State Police on March 24, 2017.

His bail was set at $750,000 but later reduced to $250,000, where it has remained.

Stark received credit as part of the sentence for having been in Dauphin County Prison from March 24, 2017 to Dec. 6, 2018.

Sprow said that Cole, the victim who was most seriously wounded in the incident, was “carefully consulted” and concurred with the agreement that was reached regarding Stark.

Meanwhile, Stark still faces other charges that were filed against him in Lancaster County Court stemming from a burglary in Elizabethtown on Oct. 25, 2016.

Stark is charged with burglary, theft by unlawful taking, and criminal mischief. The charges are pending in Lancaster County Court.