The Edmond Sun

January 6, 2014

Judge sets trial date in purported mercy killing

Affidavit: Defendant had life insurance policy on victim

Mark Schlachtenhaufen
The Edmond Sun

CRESCENT — A Logan County judge has set a trial date for a Crescent man who investigators say claimed his wife was killed during a home invasion and then changed his story saying it was a mercy killing.

On June 13, Logan County prosecutors filed a first-degree murder charge against Mark Alan Schemm, 52, of Crescent, in the death of Monica Schemm, 50, of Crescent. Prosecutors say the defendant deliberately took the victim’s life when he placed a plastic sack over her head and face and secured it with tape, causing her to suffocate.

Schemm died from asphyxiation due to suffocation, according to the state medical examiner’s office autopsy report.

The crime is punishable by death, life in prison without the possibility of parole or life in prison.

On Dec. 20, Schemm appeared in court and entered a plea of not guilty. A message seeking comment from Bret Burns, Schemm’s attorney, was not returned before the story was filed.

Logan County District Judge Phillip Corley set a trial date of April 7, overruling a defense motion to quash information filed in the case, stating in court records physical evidence seized by officers at 560 Ruth Lane in Crescent was defective because it was a general warrant and did not specify the property to be seized as directed under state law.

The defense also claimed an improperly worded search warrant was used to gather evidence, and incriminating statements should be excluded because the defendant’s 5th and 6th Amendment rights were violated.

Witnesses for the state listed in court records include Logan County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Tom Kutay, Detective Greg Valencia, several other agency personnel, OSBI agents Mike Dean and Francia Thompson and KC Schemm, the defendant’s son.

Monica Schemm was a high school cheerleader and graduated with honors in 1981, family members stated in her obituary. She married her high school sweetheart, Mark Schemm, in November 1985.

In April 1991, she was diagnosed with brain cancer and won her fight with cancer after her treatments. A whiz at math, she was a financial aid adviser at the University of Central Oklahoma for 15 years. In 2003, she resigned after a fall caused severe brain damage.

She is survived by her son KC, a daughter, a grandson, her parents and two sisters and a brother.

“Monica was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, and sister and will be missed by many,” family members stated.   



CASE BACKGROUND

On June 12, 2013, OSBI Agent Michael Dean received a request from the Logan County Sheriff’s Office for assistance with a home invasion robbery/murder at 560 Ruth Lane in Crescent, according to the probable cause arrest warrant affidavit filed by Dean on July 13, 2013, in Logan County District Court.

Dean responded to the address and spoke to County Sheriff Jim Bauman and Logan County investigator Thomas Kutay.

They told Dean that at 6:15 p.m. June 12, 2013, the sheriff’s office received a 911 call from KC Schemm, who lived with his father, Mark Schemm, and mother, Monica Schemm, at the home on Ruth Lane, the affidavit stated.

When KC had come home he found his father with his hands behind his back tied to a chair, the affidavit stated. After tearing a plastic bag taped over his father’s head and mouth, his father told KC to check on his mother in the bedroom, Dean stated.

KC went into the bedroom and ripped open the plastic bag on her face, and could tell she was deceased, Dean stated.

KC went to his father and was going to use a knife to cut the plastic ties, but his father stopped him and told him to call officers and wait so they could see he was tied to the chair, Dean stated.

Kutay obtained a search warrant for the home, the affidavit stated. Meanwhile, OSBI Agent Rick Brown Mirandized Schemm and interviewed him at the Logan County jail, Dean stated.

Due to her medical condition, Monica needed 24-hour care, the affidavit stated. KC worked days and Mark worked nights so someone would be with her at all times, Dean stated.



HOME INVASION CLAIM

During the morning of June 12, 2013, Mark arrived from work at about 6:30 a.m. and KC left for work shortly thereafter, the affidavit stated.

Schemm helped Monica with her lunch and went back to bed, the affidavit stated. At 3:30 p.m., Schemm’s alarm clock went off. He went to the bathroom while Monica was asleep in her bedroom on the other end of the house.

Schemm heard her yell for help and went to investigate, the affidavit stated.

At that point, Schemm described in detail a home invasion involving two Hispanic males who tied Monica’s hands behind her back and ankles, and who also tied him to a kitchen chair and forced him to tape a bag over his head and mouth, the affidavit stated.

The males, whom Schemm described in detail, left and Schemm was able to bite an air hole in the plastic bag, the affidavit stated.



THE CONFESSION

Later that evening, Dean stated, he went to assist Brown with the interview of Schemm. Schemm claimed Monica had been begging him to kill her for a long time, and she had attempted suicide, the affidavit stated.

Schemm claimed that morning she again asked him to kill her and he agreed, the affidavit stated. He told her it would happen when she was down for her mid-day nap, the affidavit stated.

Schemm stated she struggled very little and it took about 5 minutes for her to stop breathing, the affidavit stated.

Schemm then tied himself to the chair and was going to kill himself, but chickened out and bit a hole in the bag over his head, the affidavit stated. He said he killed his wife because she was suffering and she asked him to do it, the affidavit stated.

Schemm had a life insurance policy on his wife for $300,000, and one on himself for $500,000, the affidavit stated. He guided agents to a thicket near the home where he had hidden gloves and a roll of tape, the affidavit stated.



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