Schmitt Aggravated Battery Trial to Take Place in Montgomery County

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Published on June 4 2012 7:49 pm
Last Updated on July 14 2013 4:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

Former Effingham resident Gary Schmitt's aggravated battery trial will take place in Montgomery County.

Judge Kimberly Koester ruled that the trial would be moved after the defense argued that pre-trial publicity would make it difficult to choose a jury in Effingham County.  Effingham County State's Attorney Ed Deters said he wouldn't object to moving the trial as long as it was held no later than October.  Hillsboro is the county seat of Montgomery County and is in the northwest corner of the 4th Judicial Circuit of which Effingham County is a part.  Montgomery County is not contiguous to Effingham County.  Utilizing the counties south or west of Effingham County would have moved the trial closer to Troy, where Schmitt lived prior to his arrest and where his arrest received extensive coverage.

The 47-year-old Schmitt is accused of stabbing Jodi Bourland and her teenage daughter Lauren Huntington during an incident at their home in Edgewood in January 2011.  He is being held without bond in Effingham County Jail.

Schmitt still awaits trial on first degree murder charges related to the death of his father Jack at his Effingham office in June 2010.

The defense is pursuing an insanity defense in both cases.