Man charged with killing grandmother wants statements to police thrown out
A Texas man accused of murdering his grandmother in her East Dundee home in July 2014 argues he was improperly detained and wants his statements to police banned from trial.
The attorney for Richard Schmelzer, 43, of Frisco, a Dallas suburb, contends in court papers his client's Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure were violated on July 24, 2014, when police questioned him for more than three hours and did not advise him of his Miranda rights, or right to remain silent upon arrest and have an attorney represent him.
"This questioning amounted to a custodial interrogation, as the defendant was in custody for purposes of the Fourth Amendment and Miranda (warnings). (Schmelzer) was not free to leave, nor would a reasonable person in his situation believe that he was free to leave," wrote Schmelzer's attorney, Joshua Dieden.
"During this interrogation, law enforcement officers used trickery and deception for nearly three hours in gathering statements, without advising the defendant of his Constitutional Rights under Miranda."
Schmelzer is accused of killing Mildred "Dodie" Darrington, 85, at her home on the 100 block of Aldis Drive, on July 18, 2014.
Authorities say he used a car rented by a friend, bought a prepaid cellphone and drove to Illinois to kill Darrington for his share of her estate, estimated at $1 million.
According to affidavits used to secure search warrants, Schmelzer returned a car rented under a friend's name from July 17 to July 19, 2014, and it had 1,920 new miles on it. The rental was caught in a toll violation at the Interstate 355 and Boughton Road toll in Bolingbrook at 2:33 a.m. July 18, 2014.
Schmelzer wants all oral or written communications, confessions, statements or admissions to police before or after his arrest disallowed from court.
The court motion did not offer details of any of his statements to police.
Dieden will argue his case before Judge Linda Abrahamson June 14.
Schmelzer was being held at the Kane County jail on $5 million bail.
He faces between 20 and 60 years in prison with no chance of early release if convicted.