Seeber issues surprise guilty plea in 2000 killing of relative - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Seeber issues surprise guilty plea in 2000 killing of relative

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Recent photo of Katherine Seeber (PHOTO: Saratoga County District Attorney's Office) Recent photo of Katherine Seeber (PHOTO: Saratoga County District Attorney's Office)

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. -- On the day a start date was expected to be reached for her new trial Katherine Seeber issued a surprise guilty plea Tuesday in regards to the killing of her step-great grandmother over ten years ago.

According to Saratoga County Attorney James Murphy, Seeber pleaded guilty to a charge of first degree manslaughter in the February 12, 2000 killing of 91-year old Ruth Witter in Colonie. The surprise plea came as members of the prosecution and defense met in front of Judge Jerry Scarano in Saratoga County Court to discuss the upcoming trial.

In court, Seeber said there was enough convincing evidence to indicate she participated in the killing of Witter and disposal of her body. She also pleaded guilty to being involved in an unrelated burglary in Wilton on January 26, 2000.

Authorities have said Witter was killed during a botched robbery attempt by Seeber and Seeber's then-boyfriend Jeffery Hampshire. After Witter's death, her body was dumped at Saratoga National Historical Park in Stillwater.

Seeber was previously pleaded guilty to her involvement in Witter's death back in 2001. She has been serving a 20-year sentence since. Hampshire was acquitted of murder charges in connection with the death later that year.

State prosecutors brought Seeber's conviction into question when it was announced by the State Inspector General's office that the case's forensic investigator had routinely failed to conduct required tests but presented results as though he did. The investigator, Gary Veeder, committed suicide a year before the release of the IG's report.

As a result, the Appellate Division of New York State Supreme Court ruled last week to grant Seeber a new trial.

That trial will now not happen.

Seeber will face up to 17-years in prison when she is sentenced in Saratoga County Court on May 29.

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