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Trial date set for Sycamore woman in fatal crash case

Published: Friday, Oct. 12, 2012 2:36 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Oct. 12, 2012 11:05 p.m. CDT

SYCAMORE – The Sycamore woman charged in a February 2011 crash that killed a local couple is scheduled to stand trial two years after the incident occurred.

Patricia L. Schmidt, 48, of the 28500 block of Brickville Road in Sycamore, faces 18 charges including reckless homicide, aggravated reckless driving and aggravated driving under the influence of drugs. She has pleaded not guilty.

The case originally had been set for trial in December 2011, but was delayed. Attorneys agreed Friday to set the jury trial Feb. 25.

Timothy T. Getzelman, 21, of Sycamore, and Alexis Y. Weber, 21, of Maple Park, 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.

Authorities have said results from the Illinois State Police crime lab analysis of Schmidt’s blood showed the presence of multiple prescription drugs, including the anti-anxiety drugs lorazepam and phenobarbital, the sedative mephobarbital and three others, at the time of the accident.

Pretrial motions must be filed by Nov. 15, and prosecutor Phil Montgomery with the DeKalb County State’s Attorney’s Office said Schmidt’s attorneys have indicated they will file an additional motion.

State’s Attorney Clay Campbell said jurors will be selected individually in judge’s chambers because Schmidt’s attorneys filed a motion for change of venue and expressed concern about the public’s awareness of the case.

Also during the hearing Friday at the DeKalb County Courthouse, Presiding Judge Robbin Stuckert denied a defense motion that sought to suppress evidence and throw out a search warrant which was obtained April 6, 2011.

Police collected prescriptions and pill bottles from Schmidt’s home at that time. Before that, police obtained Schmidt’s medical records from Kishwaukee Community Hospital and Midwest Neurology.

In August, Schmidt’s attorneys argued that the search warrant was overreaching because it occurred 44 days after the crash and police already had the evidence they were seeking.

Prosecutors contended that police aim to be thorough in their investigations and wanted to get prescriptions and pill bottles in addition to the urine and blood samples that Schmidt provided after the accident.

The state also argued that 44 days was not an unreasonable amount of time to obtain a search warrant, especially considering that the pills would not have deteriorated.

Stuckert said she believed there was a connection between Schmidt’s home and the incident in question, that evidence supported that the search warrant was sought appropriately and that the judge who issued the warrant had enough to go on.

Stuckert also decided in August not to dismiss a grand jury’s indictment of Schmidt.

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