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Ex-Northeastern superintendent apologizes, pleads guilty

Written by Dylan Segelbaum/The York Daily Record | Oct 4, 2017 3:01 PM
Shawn-Minnich.jpg

(Photo courtesy of the York Daily Record

Shawn Minnich, 45, of Conewago Township, was sentenced to serve six to 23 months in York County Prison -- plus six years on probation. The Northeastern School Board dismissed him in 2016.

(York) -- A former superintendent of the Northeastern School District was sentenced on Tuesday to serve six to 23 months in York County Prison for breaking into his estranged wife's home and assaulting her boyfriend.

As part of a plea agreement, Shawn Minnich, 45, of Conewago Township, must spend a consecutive six years on probation. He was ordered to have no contact with his estranged wife, Kathy, except via text message or email about their children, 11 and 12.

Before Common Pleas Judge Michael E. Bortner imposed the sentence, Shawn Minnich apologized and said he hopes to focus on raising the children.

"It was the worst mistake I've made in my life," said Minnich, who pleaded guilty to simple assault, terroristic threats and two counts of recklessly endangering another person.

On Dec. 4, 2015, Minnich broke into the home in East Manchester Township and attacked Christopher Leh, Northeastern Regional police said. He suffered a shoulder injury as well as a tear in his bicep.

During the assault, Minnich put his hand on Leh's throat and shoved him against the wall, police said.

Minnich was superintendent of the Northeastern School District from 2013 to 2016. The Northeastern School Board dismissed him after the Pennsylvania Professional Standards and Practices Commission suspended his education certification. He started as a teacher at Conewago Elementary in 1996.

In a victim impact statement, Kathy Minnich said "there seems to be no end to the drama" and that her estranged husband has portrayed himself as the victim.

The children, she said, have been traumatized by what's happened. Kathy Minnich expressed dismay that people have speculated about what happened and made disparaging comments.

 "I would just encourage Shawn to take responsibility for his life and his own actions instead of placing it on me," she said.

Meanwhile, three people spoke on Minnich's behalf: Benjamin Yerger, an attorney and friend of more than 30 years; retired Northeastern School District Supt. Robert Tabachini, who's a member of the Northeastern School Board; and Mary Brungard, Kathy Minnich's mother.

"Shawn has always shown us nothing but love and respect and truthfulness," Brungard said.

This story is part of a partnership between WITF and York Daily Record. 

 

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