Tearful Yohn explains ‘my mama taught me better than this,’ claims witness lies and expert mistakes during closing argument
QUINCY — Bradley Yohn was determined to convince an Adams County jury he was not the man who sexually assaulted Christina “Tina” Lohman Schmitt and invaded her home on Nov. 9, 2021.
He started his closing statement by telling the jury he would call the person who actually committed those crimes of a “piece of s**t.”
He told jurors that if the “creep” who committed the crime was in the courtroom, “They deserve one of them pistols right there on the man’s hip (pointing to law enforcement officers in the front row) and have their heads blown off. And that’s just being point blank honest.”
Yohn called the crime “probably one of the worst I’ve ever heard of in history.” He said he felt sorry for Lohman Schmitt’s husband and her children.
“If somebody would have really done these things to my grandmother, I’d be in a killing mode,” Yohn said.
He concluded his statement by fighting through tears to say he always has been “a caring person, considerate and loving. My mama taught me better than this.”
The 10-man, two-woman jury was unconvinced.
Jurors deliberated for 2 hours and 45 minutes before finding Yohn guilty of all six counts — home invasion with a dangerous weapon, home invasion predicated on criminal sexual assault, aggravated vehicular hijacking, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated criminal sexual assault with a weapon and residential burglary.
Lohman Schmitt died 33 days later after the attack on Dec. 12, 2021.
Before giving his closing argument, Yohn wrapped up his defense Monday morning.
Yohn had said last week he intended to put Karen Blackledge on the stand. Blackledge allegedly was Yohn’s accomplice on the night Lohman Schmitt was attacked. However, Yohn chose not to, saying “she’s a lost cause.”
Yohn also said he wanted to put Ilsa Terrell, Lohman Schmitt’s daughter, on the stand. When asked why he didn’t ask all the questions he wanted to ask Terrell when she was on the stand Friday, Yohn said he wasn’t prepared and “had more things to clear up.”
Thomson did not allow Terrell to go back on the stand.
Yohn put his father, Bradley Yohn Sr., on the stand briefly without the jury present. Yohn had said his father would help provide an alibi, but Assistant State’s Attorney Josh Jones argued it was too late for Yohn to create an alibi defense.
Yohn said he had no chance to interview his father to prepare for his testimony. He was concerned if his father could provide dates or specific times. He hoped his father could help corroborate his claims that jewelry found by law enforcement during his arrest in Springfield on Nov. 10, 2021, belonged to him. Judge Roger Thomson allowed Yohn’s father to enter the courtroom to see what he would say.
“Do you remember around about the time your son, myself, was arrested about a year and a half ago?” Yohn asked.
“Pretty close. Yeah. But not sure … on the month dates for sure,” Yohn Sr. said. “Not positive. I could probably get close.”
“Do you remember the day hearing that your son was arrested?” Yohn asked.
“The day … I’m not sure the day,” Yohn Sr. said.
“Do you remember hearing that?” Yohn asked.
“I remember hearing you got arrested,” Yohn Sr. said.
“Would you remember approximately how long before that when it was you saw your son?” Yohn asked.
“Maybe a week or two,” Yohn Sr. said. “But seeing him … I’m not good on dates at all. I’m really not.”
Yohn then told Thomson, “I have no more.”
As bailiffs escorted his father from the courtroom, Yohn said, “Love you, pops.”
Yohn also briefly considered putting himself on the stand but decided against it.
Most of Yohn’s closing argument was based on perceived lies told by witnesses and perceived mistakes made by law enforcement.
He claimed Tim Schmitt, Lohman Schmitt’s husband, didn’t make the 911 call when he said he did and that he wasn’t by himself when he called. He said the Adams County Sheriff’s Department failed to properly secure the scene on the night of the attack. He claimed Lohman Schmitt was lying about her assault because she only suffered bruises.
Yohn claimed law enforcement officers on the scene conveniently forgot key pieces of information. He said no one remembers who helped Lohman Schmitt off the floor that night because she wasn’t on the floor at all. “Listen to the 911 call (which never was allowed into evidence),” he said.
He questioned the accuracy of DNA testing, shoeprint analysis and fingerprints by forensics experts from the Illinois State Police. “Ask yourself: After numerous penetrations by a male organ, why was there no male DNA?” Yohn said.
After referring to the size of the can of carpet cleaner allegedly forced inside Lohman Schmitt, Yohn said, “We’re not walking after that. We’re not sitting and looking at a photo lineup laughing and smiling.”
He didn’t understand why the quilt on which Lohman Schmitt was sitting wasn’t taken into evidence or why the can of carpet cleaner and a knife were left on the kitchen floor.
“What criminal violates someone with these objects and leaves them right there? A dumb criminal would,” he said. “It just looks like a setup.”
Yohn said an attendant testified to seeing him enter a Hannibal gas station with a plastic bag filled with money. “Who told him to say that?” Yohn said.
In the end, Yohn’s closing argument was that nobody was telling the truth … except him.
“You want the truth? I’ll tell you the truth. I wasn’t there that night,” he said. “The truth would hurt people in this courtroom today.”
Jones’ closing statement, which was less than 20 minutes, simply reviewed the evidence presented throughout the trial. He called Lohman Schmitt “one of those grandmothers who just drives me nuts. She starts listening to Christmas music before we even get to Thanksgiving, and she puts up the Christmas lights before we even have a chance to digest the turkey.”
He then walked the jury through each of the charges and what was necessary to prove them.
He showed the jury a photo of the bloodied blanket that Lohman Schmitt sat on after the attack.
“She was bleeding from her lower body after that person shoved his penis inside her again and again and again,” Jones said. “He left her bloody. He left her bruised. You saw those photos of the inside of her vagina and what he did to her. Did he use force on her? You’re damn right he did.”
He then gave the jury possible reasons why Yohn thought he could get away with the crime.
“Maybe he thought this 77-year-old woman wouldn’t have the courage to admit what happened to her,” he said. “Maybe he thought she wouldn’t be strong enough to tell people how that man carjacked her and robbed her and assaulted her again and again. Maybe he thought she would be afraid. I don’t know what that man was thinking.
“But what I do know is that he did not know Tina, because Tina was strong. Like her daughter said, Tina was a survivor. Despite the fear and despite the pain, Tina did what she needed to do. She told her husband what happened.”
Jones said Tina was looking for help when she stopped her car on North Bottom Road that night.
“Today, Tina doesn’t need help. She needs justice,” Jones said. “Today, the right 12 people are going to show up and do exactly that.”
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