East Dundee murder suspect could be removed as trustee of grandmother's estate
The mother of Richard Schmelzer, a Texas man accused of killing his East Dundee grandmother in 2014 to gain half her inheritance, is fighting to remove him as a co-trustee of Mildred Darrington's estate.
Schmelzer, 42, of Frisco, has been held at the Kane County jail on $5 million bail since his arrest in September 2014.
He faces up to 60 years if convicted of stabbing Darrington, 84, to death in her home July 18, 2014.
Angela Schmelzer filed paperwork asking a Kane County judge to remove her son as co-trustee, records show.
"Richard Schmelzer is currently unable to serve as co-trustee because he is in (jail) and awaiting trial for the murder of his grandmother," wrote Kenneth Piercey, Angela Schmelzer's attorney.
Generally speaking, if there are co-trustees for an estate, they both must agree on each action, Piercey said Friday. "He is unable to act because he's incarcerated," said Piercey, who declined to say whether Darrington's assets have been distributed.
A judge will hear Angela Schmelzer's request Oct. 13.
According to a search warrant and prosecutors, Richard Schmelzer is accused of driving a car rented by a friend from Texas to Illinois and stabbing Darrington, who had an estate worth more than $1 million.
An affidavit used to secure a search warrant for Schmelzer's phone records, bank accounts and other information also stated he'd borrowed money from his parents, and suggested he owned money to a Las Vegas escort. Authorities said they believe Schmelzer bought a prepaid phone to use while he drove to Illinois to murder Darrington.
In obtaining the search warrant, authorities said they had video of Schmelzer's rental car committing a tollway violation on Interstate 355.
Prosecutors indicated in court filings this month they planned to present surveillance video of Schmelzer at two gas stations as well as photos from a gas station receipt from Missouri, records show.
Schmelzer had told authorities, according to the search warrant affidavit, he was at a work conference when Darrington was killed. He is next due in court Sept. 16.