Quincy teen to be tried as adult in first-degree murder case; allegedly killed grandfather in February by striking him with handgun


Deputies with the Adams County Sheriff's Department prepare to apprehend Hayden Schmidt on Feb. 17 following the death of Robert Schmidt in his home earlier that day. | Muddy River News file photo

QUINCY — A Quincy teen accused of murdering his grandfather will be tried as an adult.

Hayden E. Schmidt, 16, made his first appearance in Adams County Circuit Court on Tuesday morning with public defender Christopher Pratt serving as counsel. 

“I’ve had no opportunity to talk with Mr. Schmidt outside of court today, and I have very little in the way of discovery, which is understandable,” Pratt said to Judge Amy Lannerd.

Pratt asked for a continuance to have Schmidt arraigned Aug. 9, which Lannerd granted.

The decision to try Schmidt as an adult was made earlier this month by Judge John Wooleyhan during an extended jurisdiction juvenile prosecution hearing in juvenile court. 

An Adams County grand jury returned a bill of indictment in the case against Schmidt on July 14.

Schmidt faces three counts of first-degree murder for allegedly striking Robert Schmidt, 67, in the head with a firearm on the morning of Feb. 17. The sentencing range is 35 to 75 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Schmidt also faces one count of residential burglary and one count of robbery. He allegedly took firearms from Robert Schmidt’s home by the use of or the threat of force.

He is being held on $10 million bond in the Adams County Juvenile Detention Center.

A deputy with the Adams County Sheriff’s Department observed on the morning of Feb. 17 what was described as “suspicious circumstances” at a residence in the Gross Gables subdivision on the north side of Quincy. The deputy and other officers made entry into the residence and discovered the body of Robert Schmidt, the homeowner.

The sheriff’s office immediately began investigating the death as a homicide. Deputies arrested Hayden Schmidt later that day in the Third and Chestnut area.

Devere S. Gholston also was arrested in connection with the same incident, and he also faces three counts of first-degree murder, as well as one court of residential burglary and one count of robbery. He was arraigned April 20 and pled not guilty. He remains in the Adams County Jail on $10 million bond.

Gholston is scheduled to appear for a status hearing in Adams County Circuit Court on Aug. 3.

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