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Prosecutors try to call Schmidt's husband in reckless homicide trial

Published: Monday, March 3, 2014 12:13 a.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, April 1, 2014 1:51 p.m. CDT
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SYCAMORE — The bench trial of a 49-year-old Sycamore woman accused of reckless homicide was recessed early for lunch Tuesday after prosecutors tried to call her husband to testify.

The trial recessed at about 10:30 a.m. Tuesday after Assistant State's Attorney Phil Montgomery said he would call Jeff Schmidt, husband of Patricia Schmidt, to testify.

Defense attorneys Gregg Smith and Jonathan Minkus stepped outside the courtroom with Presiding Judge Robbin Stuckert and prosecutors. When they entered the courtroom a few minutes later, a recess was called.

Schmidt, of the 28500 block of Brickville Road in Sycamore, is standing trial on charges of reckless homicide and aggravated reckless driving in connection with the Feb. 21, 2011, crash that killed Tim Getzelman, a 21-year-old Sycamore High School graduate, and his girlfriend, Alexis Weber, a 21-year-old Kaneland High School graduate.

The crash occurred at the intersection of Route 23 and Peace Road when police say Schmidt ran a red light traveling about 78 mph, well above the 45 mph speed limit. Prosecutors have argued that Schmidt shouldn't have been driving because of her seizure condition.

Andrew Oleksyn, a Kishwaukee Hospital doctor with a specialty in emergency medicine, testified for prosecutors Tuesday morning.

Oleksyn offered details about Schmidt's medical history, saying he treated her for a seizure in April 2007. He prescribed her Ativan to prevent seizures, referred her to two neurologists and warned her about driving.

"We instructed her to avoid driving or avoid heavy machinery," he said. "If this incidence would occur again, she would harm herself or someone else."

During cross examination, Minkus asked questions that emphasized Oleksyn told Schmidt to see a neurologist because Oleksyn himself was not a board-certified neurologist and that any recommendation Oleksyn made would be superseded by a neurologist's advice.

Gregory Conrad, an emergency doctor at Kishwaukee Hospital, provided written testimony for the prosecution. Conrad treated Weber after the crash and said she arrived at the hospital with a broken neck and no pulse.

The trial will continue at 1:30 p.m.

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