SYCAMORE – Attorneys argued Monday whether a grand jury’s indictment of a woman charged with reckless homicide in the February 2011 death of two people should be dismissed.
Patricia L. Schmidt, 47, of the 28500 block of Brickville Road in Sycamore, pleaded not guilty to 22 counts against her, including reckless homicide, aggravated reckless driving and aggravated driving under the influence of drugs. Monday’s hearing was held on a motion filed by her attorneys seeking to dismiss an indictment.
Schmidt is charged in the deaths of Timothy T. Getzelman, 21, of Sycamore, and Alexis Y. Weber, 21, of Maple Park.
The couple were traveling east on Peace Road on Feb. 21, 2011, when Schmidt, traveling south on North Main Street, struck Getzelman’s vehicle on the driver’s side; witnesses said Getzelman had the right of way.
Results from the Illinois State Police crime lab analysis of Schmidt’s blood show the presence of the drugs lorazepam, phenobarbital, mephobarbital, propranolol, venlafaxine and norvenlafaxine at the time of the accident.
Gregg Smith, one of Schmidt’s attorneys, argued during the motion hearing that the indictment has caused Schmidt to suffer denial of due process. Smith said Sycamore police Detective Daniel Hoffman testified before a grand jury in September that Schmidt was told not to drive after a seizure in 2007 after being prescribed phenobarbital.
Smith said that information was incorrect and misled the grand jury. He said Schmidt was told not to drive until her medication levels were under control.
There’s a big difference, Smith said, between what Schmidt was told by a doctor and what Hoffman conveyed to the grand jury. He was concerned a grand jury would think Schmidt was recklessly disregarding medical orders based on Hoffman’s testimony.
Prosecutor Phil Montgomery with the DeKalb County State’s Attorney’s Office said Hoffman was not misleading the grand jury. He said it’s the state’s position that Schmidt should not have been driving because her medication was never within an acceptable range, and that’s what he plans to argue before a jury at trial.
Presiding Judge Robbin Stuckert said she will review case law, medical reports and the grand jury transcript and rule on the motion July 24.
A hearing on the motion to suppress a search warrant was set for Aug. 16; the motion for change of venue will be addressed as jury selection begins for a trial. Schmidt’s attorneys also filed a motion for evidence deposition because a witness they plan to call has been diagnosed with kidney cancer.
Reckless homicide is a Class 3 felony, punishable by up to five years in prison; aggravated reckless driving is a Class 4 felony, punishable by up to three years in prison; and aggravated driving under the influence of drugs is a Class 2 felony, punishable by up to seven years in prison.
Because two or more people were killed, the aggravated driving under the influence of drugs charges are punishable by not less than six years but not more than 28 years in prison.