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Suspect in accidental shooting, body dumping sentenced to 8 years in prison

| December 13, 2022
Dalbert Sanders, 37, of Uhrichsville delivered a tearful apology ahead of his sentencing for the accidental shooting death of John Q. Bashline, abusing Bashline's corpse, and tampering with evidence. (WJER Radio)

NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (Dec. 13, 2022) – The Uhrichsville man convicted of involuntary manslaughter and reckless homicide for fatally shooting a friend from Belmont County during a birthday party will be spending the holidays behind bars.

 37-year-old Dalbert “Dale” Sanders has been ordered to serve 8 years in prison for the May 15th shooting death of John Q. Bashline, abusing Bashline’s corpse, and tampering with evidence. Tuscarawas County Common Pleas Court Judge Michael Ernest handed down the punishment this/Monday morning and ordered Sanders to begin serving it immediately, denying his request for a reprieve to spend Christmas with his family.

“I can appreciate that someone would want to – whether it’s the holidays or not – delay having to go to prison. However, at this point in time, I believe that it is appropriate. I know of no reason why it should be delayed. I believe that on the day of sentencing everyone should expect that they would begin their sentence at that time.”

Prosecutor Ryan Styer called the shooting “an act of gross recklessness” fueled by a long night of drinking and smoking pot. 

“And how Mr. Sanders responded to this discharge of this firearm that killed John is absolutely repugnant to any sense of friendship or human decency.”

Two co-defendants – Dominic and Michael P. Reynolds – are facing charges for allegedly helping Sanders place the body in the backseat of Bashline’s car and leaving it parked about a block away from Trinity hospital. Both are due back in court after the first of the year.  

“Had they called 911, they would have no criminal culpability,” Styer said. “He brings them in on this. Why? For their benefit? No. To save his own hide.”

Sanders pleaded guilty to the charges against him back in November. He will be on parole for one to three years after he’s released from prison.

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