Damien Ditz Sentenced Up to 20 Years in Prison for Murder of Girlfriend
(Photo by Dave Cyphert of ProPoint Media.)
Ditz was also sentenced to one to two years in state prison for Aggravated Assault Causing Bodily Injury with a Deadly Weapon. That sentence is to run concurrently with the other sentence. In addition, Ditz was ordered to pay a total of $12,716.01 in restitution including $6,853.75 to the Pennsylvania Victims Compensation Program, $5,232.26 to Tammy Seaburn, the mother of Katrina Seaburn, and $630.00 to Thomas Seaburn, the father of Katrina Seaburn. Ditz was credited with 582 days already served. The additional four charges he was convicted on – including another count of Aggravated Assault, two counts of Simple Assault, and a count of Reckless Endangerment – were merged with the Murder Three sentencing. He was also ordered to submit a DNA Sample, to pay court costs, to have no contact with Tammy Seaburn, and to submit to a mental health, drug, and alcohol evaluation.
Ditz, 23, was found guilty of third-degree murder following a week-long trial at the Clarion County Courthouse that concluded on December 7, 2018.
The verdict was handed down by a jury of seven women and five men after nearly three hours and 45 minutes of deliberations.
The jury also found Ditz guilty of two counts of Aggravated Assault, two counts of Simple Assault, and one count of Recklessly Endangering Another Person. One of the Aggravated Assault and one of the Simple Assault convictions came with “use of a deadly weapon.” He was found not guilty of first-degree murder.
Ditz fatally shot Seaburn, a Clarion University student from Curwensville, in her car, near a trailer park in the area of Lake Lucy, Washington Township, Clarion County, Pa., on March 1, 2017. Ditz was driving Seaburn’s car at the time of the incident.
The two, according to statements given to state police by Ditz, were having an argument over $130.00 that Ditz lent a friend, DaShon Smerker, who he considered a cousin. Ditz originally told police that the gun, a 45-caliber Glock, had fallen off the dashboard of the car, where it had been sitting since the night before, hit the console and gone off killing Seaburn. Later the same night, he changed his story and said the gun fell off the dashboard, he grabbed the gun, and then it went off killing Seaburn. But, in June 2017, during questioning at the Ridgway State Police barracks, Ditz again changed his story and said the gun fell off the dashboard, he placed it next to the console, and then during the argument over the $130.00, he picked up the gun to place it in the backseat and was waving it in the air, and it went off killing Seaburn.
Adam Bishop, Ditz’s attorney, painted the shooting as accidental and pushed for an involuntary manslaughter charge, while Clarion County District Attorney Mark Aaron was looking for a first-degree murder conviction.
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