Murder suspect appears at court hearing

By BILL POWELL
bpowell@dcherald.com

Schneider

JASPER — Issues like whether the trial of a man charged in the Jan. 11 murder of Chloie E. Lubbehusen, 23, Huntingburg, will be pushed back or if there will be a change of venue will be decided in the coming days.

Suspect Kyle D. Schneider, 27, 2010 Lincoln Drive, Huntingburg, was in Dubois Circuit Court this morning for what was to be a final pretrial hearing. The proceeding was ultimately continued to next week as Circuit Court Judge Nathan Verkamp explained to those in court that a final pretrial hearing often becomes the trigger for the state and the defense to file numerous motions before an approaching trial deadline.

Last month, the court set May 13 as the date for a jury trial after Jasper attorney Tim DeMotte, who represents Schneider, filed a motion for a speedy trial.

On Monday, the Dubois County Prosecutor’s Office filed a motion to continue the trial and DeMotte filed an objection.

The prosecution’s continuance motion notes the State seeks to further test Schneider’s blood samples and that evidence would be unavailable by the May 13 trial date.

In court today, Chief Deputy Prosecutor Beth Sermersheim said the State has been testing and submitting items to the lab weekly. The prosecution will not be able to know what will or will not be introduced as evidence until the testing is complete.

DeMotte’s objection to the motion to continue the trial notes the May 13 date is more that 30 days from the date of the final pretrial conference and the objection takes the position that the State’s request for a continuance is premature. It asks the court to allow the trial to proceed as scheduled or, in the alternative, that Schneider be released from incarceration pending a rescheduled trial.

Last month, DeMotte had filed to withdraw a previous notice to advance a defense of mental disease or defect. Prior to that, DeMotte had filed a motion asking for a change of venue and/or an alternate jury pool.

To support the motion for a change of venue and/or to allow a jury to be selected from another county, DeMotte told the court the reasons Schneider would be unable to receive a fair trial in Dubois County include public hostility against the defendant; public outrage over the offense; prejudicial news reporting or editorializing that castigates Schneider; speculative opinions as to the personality and character of the accused; and disclosures of inadmissible evidence or the existence and contents of confessions.

The prosecution’s response, filed Monday, notes it is incumbent upon a defendant to produce evidence of community bias or prejudice sufficient to convince the trial court the defendant could not obtain a fair trial in that county. The prosecution’s response goes on to say media accounts are substantially factually accurate and do not contain sufficient inadmissible inflammatory material as to render a change of venue appropriate.

The defense also filed a motion April 1 to exclude autopsy photographs, stating the prejudicial impact would be greater than any probative value. In a response filed Monday, the prosecution indicated it intends to introduce at trial photographs taken at the autopsy prior to the altercation of the body that depict the wounds on the victim.

Verkamp could rule on these and other motions in coming days. Today’s final pretrial hearing was continued to Wednesday, April 17.

The case began at 8:26 a.m. Friday, Jan. 11, with a 911 call reporting a woman found bleeding on the porch of a residence in the 5800 block of County Road 650E. Lubbehusen was transported by ambulance to Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center where she succumbed to her injuries.

Police located and arrested Schneider in a garage at the scene. Officers also reported recovering a knife thought to be the murder weapon.

Court documents allege that, after his arrest, Schneider admitted to stabbing Lubbehusen multiple times without stating a motive for his actions.

Schneider has been lodged at the Dubois County Security Center since his Jan. 11 arrest.




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