Attorneys Working Toward Plea Bargain in Schmitt Cases

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Published on October 5 2012 1:59 pm
Last Updated on July 14 2013 4:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

Attorneys involved in the trials of former Effingham resident Gary Schmitt Friday said they're working toward a plea bargain agreement.

The 48-year-old Schmitt is charged with murder for allegedly killing his father, Jack, at Jack Schmitt's home in Effingham in June 2010, and with aggravated battery for allegedly stabbing Jodi Bourland and her daughter Lauren Huntington at Bourland's home in Edgewood in January 2011.

The trial on the aggravated battery counts was set to begin this Tuesday in Hillsboro, but during a pre-trial hearing Friday morning, defense attorney Michael Mettes asked Judge Kimberly Koester to vacate the trial date and asked for a status hearing next Friday, the 12th.  Mettes indicated the parties are working toward a resolution of both cases.

Effingham County State's Attorney Ed Deters confirmed that talks on a settlement are ongoing, saying, "We're working toward a resolution...it's more complicated (than usual) in that there are two cases involved."

Deters told Judge Koester that the victims of the aggravated battery offenses are aware that talks on a plea bargain are underway.  Some were in court for the hearing.

Schmitt remains in custody in Effingham County Jail.  The defense has indicated they would use an insanity defense should the cases go to trial.