Prosecution wraps up case with scientific experts; most of Yohn defense reviews previous testimony

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Bradley Yohn looks at his computer during his criminal sexual assault trial on Thursday in Adams County Circuit Court. | Pool photo by Randy Phillips/MRN

QUINCY — Experts in shoe impressions, DNA testing and fingerprints from the Illinois State Police helped the prosecution wrap up its case Thursday morning during the Bradley Yohn criminal sexual assault trial in Adams County Circuit Court.

Yohn began his own defense on Thursday afternoon by mostly rehashing testimony already presented by the prosecution.

Yohn, 36, is charged with home invasion with a dangerous weapon, home invasion predicated on criminal sexual assault, aggravated vehicular hijacking, aggravated criminal sexual assault with a weapon and residential burglary. He allegedly committed the crimes on Nov. 9, 2021, at the home of Christine “Tina” Lohman Schmitt. She died 33 days later on Dec. 12, 2021.

Yohn is defending himself pro se with Public Defender Todd Nelson serving as standby counsel.

His defense had a rocky start. After a 90-minute lunch break, Judge Roger Thomson granted an extra 10 minutes for Yohn to have paper copies of a report made. When court resumed, Yohn said he didn’t get prints of all the reports he wanted and asked for “another half-hour, 45 minutes.”

“Apologize, your honor. Not much I can do about it,” Yohn said.

“There’s plenty that should have been done before this time, Mr. Yohn,” Thomson said sternly. “The time for trial prep is before trial.”

Thomson begrudgingly granted Yohn 30 more minutes. At the end of the second break, Yohn told Thomson, “I’m as prepared as I’ll ever be.”

Yohn called two witnesses — Ruth Boden, a deputy with the Adams County Sheriff’s Department, and Jared Summers, a sheriff’s department employee assigned to the West-Central Illinois Drug Task Force and the U.S. Marshals Service. 

Much of the testimony given by Boden duplicated the testimony given by Joe Lohmeyer on Tuesday. Boden and Lohmeyer were the first two people to arrive at Tim and Tina Schmitt’s home on North Bottom Road on Nov. 9, 2021.

Yohn asked Boden multiple times about how and why Lohman Schmitt was off the floor in her home. Boden said she didn’t know. Yohn also asked how many people from law enforcement were on the scene (Boden didn’t know) and why Lohman Schmitt was helped to a couch (Boden didn’t know).

“I find it hard that you don’t remember,” Yohn said.

Yohn asked what the standard procedure for securing a crime scene is. 

“I generally do whatever my supervisor tells me to,” Boden said.

Summers also was on the scene on Nov. 9, 2021, but only for about five minutes. He said he was told by Sgt. Jake McMahon that a white or silver Toyota was gone from the Schmitt home. McMahon asked Summers to canvass the area for camera sightings of either person who attacked Lohman Schmitt or the stolen vehicle. Summers said he never met Tim Schmitt nor his wife that night.

Summers searched unsuccessfully, then returned to the office and researched two suspects — Yohn and Karen Blackledge.

Summers learned Blackledge was a suspect in another vehicle theft from Instant Replay, a local bar, earlier on Nov. 9, 2021. The next day, he learned the Hannibal Police Department had failed to apprehend Yohn and Blackledge after they stopped at a Phillips 66 gas station. He also found out Yohn and Blackledge fled after the Illinois State Police tried to conduct a traffic stop.

Yohn then reviewed with Summers much of the same information provided by Keith Kinney, who was assigned to the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force in November 2021. He testified on how Yohn was arrested and what was found on Nov. 10, 2021. Summers drove to Springfield with other Quincy officers on that day.

After Summers’ testimony, but just before Thomson sent the jury home for the day, Yohn asked if he could “take up an issue of very high relevance.” After the jury left, Yohn claimed that photos shown during the testimony of Jaclyn Oglesby, a sexual assault nurse examiner at Blessing Hospital, were not of Lohman Schmitt.

“I don’t care who testified of them,” Yohn said. “There were a couple that I am for sure, without a doubt, that were not Christine Lohman.”

He said he had other photos that were “completely different.”

Jones said he was “dumbfounded.” He said Yohn could have challenged Oglesby’s photos when she was on the stand.

“The defendant has seen those photos numerous times,” Jones said. “We did not provide copies of them because of this sensitive nature. He’s asked to see them multiple times, and each time (Assistant State’s Attorney) Miss (Laura) Keck and I have gone down to the jail and given him ample time to look at those photos. Are there more photos of her genitalia? Absolutely. We chose to use two because of the graphic nature of them. So he’s right. There are more. That was our choice as trial strategy. That doesn’t mean that they aren’t of her.

“I don’t know what the defendant is trying to do here, but frankly, it’s not the right time. It’s not the right place, and I’ll stop there.”

Thomson denied Yohn’s objection, saying “the water’s already run under the bridge.”

Hali Carls-Miller, a forensic scientist with the Illinois State Police and an expert in shoe impressions, told the jury that the size 12 white Reebok shoe found on Yohn matched shoe impressions on the door and throghout the Schmitt home on Nov. 9, 2021. Yohn asked if she could tell the difference in weight of a person wearing a pair of shoes from one moment to another. Carls-Miller said she could not.

Kelly Maciejewski, who works in the Illinois State Police forensics lab in Springfield and specializes in DNA, told the jury the DNA taken from the knob at the top of the can of carpet cleaner found in the Schmitt home matched that of Lohman Schmitt. 

Maciejewski said DNA found on the safe in the basement at the Schmitt home matched Lohman Schmitt and Yohn. She said the lab uses a statistical program that indicated that of 210 people, only one of them would be expected to have that same profile found on the safe.

She also said DNA testing was done on the Depends diaper Lohman Schmitt was wearing, and much of the DNA found matched that of Lohman Schmitt. However, Maciejewski said a process called Y STR testing (searching only for the Y chromosome of a male) allowed her to determine the male DNA found in the diaper was 310 times more likely to belong to Yohn.

During cross-examination, Yohn asked if mistakes or “complications” are made in testing.  

“Essentially everything we do is an open book,” Maciejewski replied. “All of our reports are reviewed by another qualified analyst when we are done.”

Brian Long, a forensic scientist with the Illinois State Police specializing in examination of latent prints, testified that latent prints found on the can of carpet cleaner and on the outside of the Toyota Avalon stolen from the Schmitt home matched those of Yohn. 

Testimony is scheduled to resume at 9 a.m. Friday. Yohn said he plans to call Heidi Young and Ilsa Terrell, daughters of Lohman Schmitt, as well as McMahan and Deputy Kevin Douglas with the Adams County Sheriff’s Department. He also wants to recall Tim Schmitt and investigator Kelsey Miller with the sheriff’s department. Yohn had asked for two other witnesses to be available on Friday, but he didn’t submit a subpoena for either of them. Neither are available.

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