Inmate shares jail conversation with murder defendant

By BILL POWELL
bpowell@dcherald.com

Schneider

JASPER — The prosecution continued building its murder case Thursday against Kyle D. Schneider by introducing autopsy photos, DNA evidence and even the testimony of a Dubois County Security Center inmate.

Schneider, 27, 2010 Lincoln Drive, Huntingburg, is charged in Dubois Circuit Court with the killing of 23-year-old Chloie E. Lubbehusen.

Lubbehusen was found stabbed and bleeding on the porch of a residence in the 5800 block of County Road 650S near St. Anthony on Jan. 11. She later succumbed to her wounds at Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center.

Schneider was located, naked except for a pair of socks, hiding in a garage at the scene on the morning of the incident. He was lodged in the Dubois County Security Center where he came to share a cellblock with Brandon L. Karns, 23, Odon.

Karns, wearing an orange jail jumpsuit, was the seventh and final witness to take the stand Thursday. He indicated Schneider, unsolicited, shared a story of how he had struck and then repeatedly stabbed Lubbehusen after they had talked about Lubbehusen working for a narcotics officer as a confidential informant.

Karns, under questioning from Chief Deputy Prosecutor Beth Sermersheim, further alleged Schneider had told him he had been scared and had urinated on his own hands to get blood from them. Schneider, Karns stated under questioning, also indicated he had ripped off a hangnail so he would have his own blood on his hands.

Karns further related under questioning that Schneider had said his Chevrolet Tahoe’s tires were flat so he had hid in a garage under insulation.

Other things Karns alleged Schneider had said while in jail were that the defendant had bought a knife at Walmart around Christmas and that he was going to try and blame Lubbehusen’s death on a neighbor who would have Lubbehusen’s blood on his clothes after moving her.

On cross-examination, Schneider’s defense lawyer, Jasper attorney Tim DeMotte, called into question Karns’ credibility, suggesting he was seeking a deal from prosecutors in exchange for testifying.

DeMotte got Karns to admit it is not cool to be a snitch in jail, although the inmate had earlier said he wanted to do the right thing by testifying.

When mention was made that Schneider, being about 6-foot-5, should have no need to say things to seem cool or tough, Karns said, “That’s just how he came in there talking.”

Mary Raufeisen, a Walmart asset protection associate, testified about tracking down video footage at the behest of Indiana State Police Detective Brock Werne, showing Schneider buying a knife at the sporting goods department Jan. 9.

Schneider’s friend Kaine A. Seitz, of Terre Haute, testified about receiving a text message from the defendant in the early morning hours Jan. 11 that stated, “S*** is bad.”

Morgan Zehr, Ferdinand, who once had a dating relationship with Schneider, testified about a text conversation the morning of Jan. 11 in which the defendant had asked Zehr to please come save him.

Forensic pathologist Dr. James Jacobi testified about a three-hour autopsy that occurred Jan. 11 at Nass & Son Funeral Home in Huntingburg. Jacobi, who has conducted 9,000 autopsies in his career, detailed Lubbehusen’s stab and cut wounds, which included two stab wounds that penetrated her skull.

Forensic biologist Meredith Livingston of the Indiana State Police lab in Indianapolis, gave jurors a primer on DNA and its analysis, specifically the statistical calculations that applied to the DNA contributors associated with the swabs, fingernail scrapings and clothing samples in the case.

Five samples were taken from spots on a bloody knife found at the scene, four from stained areas and one sample from an area without a stain. The contributors were likely Lubbehusen and Schneider but, in the case of a sample from a non-blood area, an unknown individual was also a contributor. It was stated that result could have been from skin cells or other fluid that had been on the knife for some time.

Tikelan and Ashley Kilburn, the neighboring cousins who came to a wounded Lubbehusen’s aid and placed a 911 call, were excluded as contributors on the knife, as was the Walmart associate who sold a knife to Schneider.

Livingston indicated the DNA samples, or standards, of the Kilburns were excluded as possible contributors to all the items the prosecution is using to build its case.

A total of six samples from Schneider’s socks were tested and the DNA on some of those samples was likely to have come from Schneider and Lubbehusen. There was an unknown, minor contributor in a couple of the samples. One sock was confirmed to have human blood on it.

A swab of Schneider’s right hand had DNA contributions from two individuals, Schneider and an unknown contributor, with 97 percent of the DNA being Schneider’s.

A test of a swab from Schneider’s left hand returned a serological presumptive positive for blood but a confirmatory test did not find blood, according to Livingston.

The prosecution is continuing with its case today.




More on DuboisCountyHerald.com