Shawano man maintains his innocenceBy:
Joan Koehne, [email protected]
Wolf River Media Photo by Joan Koehne
Daniel Schmidt, right, confers with his attorney, Eric Maciolek, Tuesday at Schmidt’s sentencing hearing for the murders of Kimberly Rose and Leonard Marsh. Oconto County Circuit Court Judge Michael Judge sentenced Schmidt to two consecutive sentences of life in prison, without parole.
Wolf River Media Photo by Joan Koehne
Special Prosecutor Richard Dufour reads a statement from Larry Marsh at the sentencing hearing Tuesday of Daniel Schmidt, who was found guilty in October of murdering Marsh’s twin brother, Leonard, and sister, Kimberly Rose. Their photos were on display in the courtroom, facing Oconto County Circuit Court Judge Michael Judge, who sentenced Schmidt to the maximum penalty allowed.
A Shawano man, maintaining his innocence, was sentenced Tuesday to the maximum penalty allowable for the double murder of a brother and sister in 2009.
Daniel Schmidt, 30, was sentenced to two consecutive sentences of life in prison, without chance of parole, for the intentional homicides of his ex-mistress, Kimberly Rose, 32, and her brother, Leonard Marsh, 22, on May 19, 2009.
Schmidt was arrested in September 2012 and found guilty by an Oconto County jury in October of the shotgun slayings, which occurred at the home Rose and Marsh shared in the town of Gillett.
In his short remarks to the judge, Schmidt offered his condolences and prayers to the family of Rose and Marsh, but offered no apology.
“I can’t apologize for something I did not do,” he said with a clear voice.
According to testimony at the trial, Schmidt and Rose began an affair in November 2008, but Schmidt later ended the relationship and tried to mend his marriage. Special Prosecutor Richard Dufour said Schmidt went to the Gillett home on the morning of May 19, 2009, shot Rose in the face and neck to stop her from disrupting his marriage and shot Marsh three times in the back, while he laid in bed, because he was a witness to the murder.
Dufour, during a 30-minute statement to the judge, recommended the maximum sentence, saying the murders ended two young, promising lives.
Schmidt’s attorney, Bradley Schraeven, recommended Schmidt be eligible for parole as soon as possible, claiming the jury’s verdict was based on circumstantial evidence.
“No one knows exactly what happened on that night,” Schraeven said. “He does maintain his innocence, and friends and family are still supportive of him and maintain his innocence.”
He said Schmidt is a young man with a wife and two little children who have suffered greatly.
Oconto County Circuit Court Judge Michael Judge said Schmidt wasn’t thinking of the emotional trauma he would cause his wife, his children and the family of the victims when he planned and committed the murders, then lied about the crimes to his wife and law enforcement agents.
“There’s no question that Mr. Schmidt committed two cold-hearted, depraved, obscene, vicious acts of murder,” Judge said.
The seriousness of the crime and the need to protect the community were the two main reasons he issued the maximum sentence, he said.
“I choose to treat your sentence the same as the sentence you gave to Kimberly, to Leo and their family for the remainder of their lives,” Judge said.
Donna Marsh, the victims’ mother, fought back tears as she recalled the murders and the weeks of upheaval that followed, as she took in Kimberly’s son, Donovan, and buried two of her three children.
Larry Marsh, Leo’s twin brother, submitted a statement, read by Dufour, that told of the loss he felt over the deaths of his brother and sister.
“Do you have any idea how it feels, going 22 years on your birthday, no matter what, to find a way to meet your twin to celebrate your day, and then all of a sudden they are gone?” Dufour read.
Larry Marsh and his mother asked for life in prison without parole.
“You took two lives away and don’t deserve to walk around as a free man,” Larry Marsh wrote in his statement.
Kimberly Rose’s son, Donovan, 16, told the court how his life changed forever five years ago. He said his mom is no longer around to be his friend and confidant, to see him sing at concerts and in musicals, and experience other milestones in his life.
“My mother was not just a mother, she was my best friend,” he said. “I could talk to her about anything. Sometimes she was my only friend. She was the one person I loved more than anyone else.”
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