Kendal C. Scheid, 23, most recently of Akron, was granted judicial release by Summit County Common Pleas Judge Mary Margaret Rowlands. Prosecutors and the victim’s family protested, according to the Akron Beacon Journal, but Rowlands had said when she sentenced Scheid in December that she would let Scheid out early if he behaved in prison, which he did.
Scheid was placed on four years of probation Tuesday. According to court records, part of his conditions include no contact with the victim’s family and Scheid was ordered to “refrain from offensive conduct of every nature and obey all laws.”
The defendant, a 2012 St. Paul High School graduate and former University of Akron student, was eligible for judicial release after six months in prison. Scheid had served less than 10 months.
“A 23-year-old son’s life is worth more than 10 months in jail,” said the victim’s father, Gregory Unternaher, after the hearing Tuesday. “We are functioning, but we hurt daily. … We will hurt daily for the rest of our lives. Please don’t increase our pain by letting him out.”
Scheid was sentenced Dec. 5 — exactly one year after the victim died — to three years in prison. About two months earlier, he pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of involuntary manslaughter for the stabbing death of his roommate, 23-year-old Duncan Unternaher, of Newark. Scheid was scheduled to go on trial on murder and felonious assault.
The victim’s mother, Brenda Unternaher, according to the Akron Beacon Journal, said the crime “needs to have justice.”
“It hurts every day to know that something this senseless took away one of my most valued treasures in life — my son Duncan,” she said while crying with her husband’s hand on her shoulder.
The Akron Police Department investigated the case. Officers have said Scheid and Unternaher were intoxicated when they got into an argument about fast food they were eating at their off-campus apartment in December 2016.
A third roommate, Devin Rogala, requested an ambulance. He told a dispatcher that Unternaher was stabbed “in the chest area” and was breathing, but “completely unconscious.”
“They are in the bathroom. He (Scheid) is keeping pressure on the wound trying to keep him elevated,” Rogala said during the 9-1-1 call, noting both men were “highly intoxicated.”
Unternaher was transported to Summa Akron City Hospital, where he died Dec. 5, 2016.
Scheid’s attorney, Don Malarcik, had called it an “unfortunate accident” and said Scheid had Rogala call 9-1-1 to get help after the stabbing. In court Tuesday, Malarcik said his client “has good insight into his previous mistakes and shows genuine remorse,” attends AA meetings, is taking two online business classes, one on-site class and participated in numerous programs.
“I have no doubt (Scheid) will live a life that continues to demonstrate he is worthy of this opportunity,” he added.
Summit County Assistant Prosecutor Seema Misra, according to the Beacon Journal, said the state doesn’t believe Scheid has felt any remorse or “gained insight.” Judging from recent phone conversations with his parents from the Summit County Jail, Misra also said the defendant seemed to take for granted he would be released from prison and didn’t sound remorseful.
Scheid completed the electricity program at EHOVE Career Center. He and the victim were members of Phi Delta Theta.