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Judge Sentences Man Who Shot Pennsylvania State Trooper To 53½ To 110 Years

August 31, 2018

After nearly three hours of emotional testimony, a Northampton County judge sentenced the man convicted of trying to kill two Pennsylvania State Police troopers during a routine traffic stop in Plainfield Township to 53½ to 110 years in prison. In sentencing 22-year-old Daniel Clary, Judge Stephen Barrata said a video of the Nov. 7 gunfight showed a “person who intended to shoot a police officer.” Dozens of troopers and law enforcement officers were in the courtroom for the hearing for Clary, who was convicted in June by a jury of nine crimes, including attempted murder of law enforcement officers, that will send him to prison for several decades. State police Cpl. Seth Kelly, the trooper who nearly bled to death on the side of the highway after being shot by Clary, gave the first victim impact statement.

Kelly, 39, of Upper Nazareth Twp. Is a Wayne County native, who enlisted with state police in 2004. Kelly, his back turned to Clary in the Easton courtroom, said what happened that day 10 months ago was the result of Clary’s actions only. “If you would have cooperated ... and not taken the law into your own hands, none of this would have happened,” Kelly said. “I pray you never get released from prison.” Clary, his left arm in a sling, faces a 20- to 40-year prison sentence for nearly Kelly during a traffic stop along Route 33. He also faces the same sentence for two charges of assaulting a law enforcement officer while using a firearm for wounding Kelly and shooting at Trooper Roy Seiple as the men grappled on the side of the highway. Folding chairs had to be brought into the courtroom for the overflow crowd, and the media was been moved to the jury box. Kelly’s wife, Forks Township police detective Philomena Kelly, also gave a victim impact statement. She called Clary’s actions “callous, senseless and simply unthinkable.” She told him “you truly should hang your head in shame.” Clary looked briefly at her, then again bowed his head. She said her husband suffered terrible migraines in a coma, calling him “truly, a warrior.” Seiple, who exchanged fire with Clary during the shootout, said during his victim impact statement that he went to see Kelly nearly every day in the hospital. “You spend hours and days with his family who all share the same concern: Is he going to live?” Seiple said when he learned Kelly was able to finally drink a cup of coffee, he knew Kelly would make it. Clary’s lawyer called his client’s uncle to testify. The uncle, also named Daniel Clary, said his nephew was fine growing up until a childhood head injury. He said his nephew became paranoid but he “is not an evil kid.”ve, likely will meet with officials from DCED and PFM next week to discuss plans going forward. After a weekong trial that featured testimony dominated by a dramatic dashboard camera video that recorded the entire shooting, it took a jury less than two hours to convict Clary, of Chestnuthill Township, Monroe County. At that trial, defense attorney Janet Jackson argued Clary feared for his life after Seiple stopped him for speeding. After giving Clary a speeding ticket, Seiple had started to drive away when Clary waved him back and began acting strangely. Seiple called Kelly for backup and after conducing field sobriety tests, the troopers moved in to arrest Clary for suspected driving under the influence. The dashcam video, highlighted at the trial, showed a violent assault with Clary grappling with troopers on the ground, trying to grab their pistols and fighting even after he was repeatedly shocked with stun guns. Clary grabbed a gun from his car and opened fire, shooting Kelly several times as he lurched over a guardrail to try and get out of the line of fire. Both Kelly and Seiple returned fire, wounding Clary, but he was able to escape and drove himself to Easton Hospital where he said police were the aggressors. Kelly spent nearly a month in the hospital after nearly bleeding to death from a severed femoral artery. Kelly has since returned to “limited duty” at Troop M in July, said Capt. Richard D’Ambrosio. At the time of the verdict, First Deputy District Attorney Terence Houck had expressed relief, saying he feared the heroics of the troopers would be missed at trial, given the national scrutiny of law enforcement. He called Kelly “a walking, talking miracle,” given that doctors estimated his heart had stopped five to 10 minutes before he was revived with dozens of pints of blood. Jackson had argued that Clary, who has no criminal record, was a frightened young man who was getting his first speeding ticket and was shocked when police tried to handcuff him after suspecting him of driving while under the influence. Jackson has said she plans to appeal the conviction. Days after the shooting, District Attorney John Morganelli cleared Seiple and Kelly of wrongdoing, saying they used “extreme restraint” during an encounter that escalated dramatically in seconds. pamela.lehman@mcall.com Twitter @pamelalehman 610-820-6790

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