Schmidt enters not guilty plea; trial on crowded November jury docket


Adams County Public Defender Christopher Pratt speaks with Hayden Schmidt before his appearance in Adams County Circuit Court on Tuesday — J. Robert Gough pool photo

QUINCY — A Quincy teen being tried as an adult and accused of murdering his grandfather has pleaded not guilty to three counts of first degree murder and two other charges.

Hayden E. Schmidt, 16, appeared in Adams County Circuit Court before Judge Amy Lannerd on Tuesday morning for his arraignment. He is being represented by public defender Christopher Pratt.

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.

Each of the felony murder charges carry a sentence between 35-75 years each since a firearm was used. The sentences would also run concurrently, if he is convicted. He also faces a charge of residential burglary, which is a felony with a sentence between 4 and 15 years and a charge of robbery, another felony with carries a 3 to 7 year sentence.

Schmidt also allegedly took firearms from Robert Schmidt’s home by the use of or the threat of force.

Adams County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Schmidt in the Third and Chestnut area on the same day his grandfather was found dead.

Last month, Judge John Wooleyhan ruled after an extended jurisdiction juvenile prosecution hearing in juvenile court that Schmidt would be tried as an adult. He is currently being held on $10 million bond in the Adams County Juvenile Detention Center.

Devere S. Gholston also was arrested in connection with the same incident, and he faces the same charges as Schmidt: Three counts of first-degree murder, as well as one court of residential burglary and one count of robbery. He is in the Adams County Jail on $10 million bond.

Gholston entered a not guilty plea in April. His trial is also slated for the November jury docket, which led Lannerd to comment about the crowded court schedule that month. She said scheduling could be revisited during Schmidt’s next status hearing, which is set for October 11.

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