Inmate denied sentence relief for second-degree murder conviction in 2013

DRUMORE TOWNSHIP, LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa.– A state court denied a Kirkwood’s man sentence relief request for his role in a 2012 burglary that ended in the death of a widower.

Stephen Harmer, 31, was convicted of second-degree murder in 2013 for plotting a burglary that ultimately took the life of 62-year-old Douglas Herr.

Harmer and two brother, Cody and Kyle Wunder, targeted Herr for the burglary after Harmer discovered that Herr kept a cash-sum settlement at his Furniss Road home.

Herr had received the settlement after his wife’s death years prior.

At Harmer’s command, Kyle Wunder shot Herr in the head at point-blank range after Herr had wounded Cody Wunder during the Aug. 17, 2012 break-in. In total, the men stole $211,000 from a safe in Herr’s bedroom.

Currently, the Wunder brothers are also serving life sentences.

In his claim for sentence relief, Harmer argued that his trial attorney was ineffective. Specifically, Harmer criticized his attorney’s strategy regarding a witness who testified to Harmer’s drug use, and Cody Wunder’s testimony that linked Harmer to the murder.

However, in the denial of the request, the Pennsylvania Superior Court found that the trial attorney’s strategy was not flawed.

Now, Harmer is set to serve his life sentence.