‘The court does not agree with your interpretation of what’s going on here’: Yohn files more motions as trial start date nears

Bradley Yohn retrieves files under the watch of Adams County Court security officers during a motion hearing held Wednesday afternoon.

Bradley Yohn searches for documents in a plastic tub with the assistance of Bailiff John Ervin during Wednesday afternoon's motion hearing in Adams County Circuit Court. | Pool photo by Mike Sorensen/Herald-Whig

QUINCY — Judge Roger Thomson denied a series of motions Wednesday afternoon by Bradley Yohn with less than a month remaining before his trial starts July 10.

Near the end of the meeting in Adams County Circuit Court, Yohn handed Thomson 12 more motions. Exasperated, Thomson scheduled Friday morning for both sides to review Yohn’s latest motions, which include: 

  • A request for Thomson to reconsider a motion to provide funds for a digital forensic expert that was denied last week.
  • A letter to Chief Judge Frank McCartney, who sentenced Yohn in another case last week to seven years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. An Adams County jury found him guilty on April 11 of one count of possessing contraband in a penal institution. The jury believed Yohn hid two thumb drives on Nov. 15 in his cell.
  • A motion for substitution of judge. Yohn has made two previous motions on the same topic. Judge John Wooleyhan denied Yohn’s motion on March 22, and he was assigned the latest motion after Wednesday’s hearing. Yohn made a motion for substitution of judge on Sept. 22, 2022, which was denied by Judge Holly Henze on Oct. 3, 2022.
  • A motion to evaluate Yohn’s co-defendant. Public Defender Todd Nelson was assigned the role of standby counsel on Sept. 22, 2022, when Yohn chose to defend himself pro se. At the end of Wednesday’s hearing, Yohn suggested to Nelson to dismiss himself from the case. “I asked you to print things off,” he said to Nelson. “It’s a lot easier doing research when you print off various documents. Click, click, click, and it’s done. No sweat on your part.” However, when Thomson asked if he wanted Nelson available for the next motion hearing, Yohn said yes.
  • A motion for a continuance of the case.

Yohn is charged with home invasion, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated vehicular hijacking and aggravated criminal sexual assault with a weapon — all Class X felonies. He allegedly committed the crimes on Nov. 9, 2021, at the home of Christine “Tina” Lohman Schmitt. Yohn could be sentenced to serve between six and 30 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections if he’s found guilty of any Class X felony.

Yohn started Wednesday’s hearing by addressing his motion to dismiss a charge of residential burglary, two charges of theft and a charge of criminal sexual abuse. He claimed Assistant State’s Attorney Josh Jones has no evidence.

“If Mr. Jones can pull up a piece of relevant evidence to a criminal act, I’d like to see it,” Yohn said. “He has two crackheads calling and making a false complaint. It’s not evidence. You don’t have any statements. I ask for this to be dismissed. That’s exactly what it sounds like, a false complaint. Maybe (they’re) trying to get some drug money.”

“We have turned over every report in our possession to Mr. Yohn,” Jones replied. “He may not like those reports. He may not understand those reports. Frankly, it’s not my job to explain them. He’s chosen to represent himself. He can figure it out for himself. If we go to trial on this case, we will have to present evidence to the jury.”

“If ‘if’ was a fifth, we’d all be drunk,” Yohn said.

Yohn addressed a petition to “get the People to abide by rules, procedure and laws set forth for humanity and judicial systems (to top altering, tampering, modifying).” He admitted Thomson already determined during last week’s motion hearing no tampering is going on.

“However, I would contest that factual proof right here on this thumb drive,” Yohn said, holding a red thumb drive. “You know just as well as I do is that things have been tampered and altered with. I proved it last week.”

“The court does not agree with your interpretation of what’s going on here,” Thomson replied.

Yohn also filed a motion for a solution to “being restrained so ridiculously that the defendant cannot function in court.” He has made multiple complaints to Thomson about the “black box” he wears between his handcuffs when he enters a courtroom.

“I’m not an issue,” Yohn explained. “I do tend to get rebellious when people treat me like an issue, and I will never stand down. But as it stands, I’m not at issue in this courtroom. I don’t think I should be ridiculously restrained like this where I can’t even take notes.”

Thomson told Yohn he won’t be restrained during his trial, but he will continue to be restrained during motion hearings.

“There have been several motion hearings that have ended with you being forcibly removed from this court,” Thomson said. “Your representation in this motion is false. I have observed with my own eyes how you can become disruptive and rebellious, as you call it, because you feel that something is being done wrong.”

Yohn alleged in a motion to dismiss the case because of prosecutorial misconduct that the thumb drives removed from his cell during a search by Adams County officials on Nov. 14 were given to Jones.

“I will not be able to have a fair trial here in Adams County, because Mr. Jones and his whole office have everything that they’re not supposed to have as far as the defense,” Yohn claimed. “They have my whole trial presentation.”

Jones said the evidence is in hands of the Adams County Clerk’s office.

“The thumb drives he’s complaining about were in evidence, and I never had access to them,” he said. “They were sealed. They were opened in court in the defendant’s presence. I’ve never had them. I’ve never looked at them. And even if I did look at them, the ability to understand the defendant’s criminal mind is beyond me. I would have no desire to look at or see or even care about what he’s going to do.”

Yohn went on to complain about how the Adams County Sheriff’s Department mishandled the crime scene at Lohman Schmitt’s home on Nov. 9, 2021. He claims he’s found 116 discrepancies in the case. He complained about evidence returned to Lohman Schmitt’s family without his permission. Jones explained that was done when Nelson was serving as lead counsel and gave his approval.

At one point, Yohn turned to Jones and Assistant State’s Attorney Laura Keck to say, “Y’all aren’t slick. You’re not going to get away with this.”

Thomson granted a motion by Jones to quash subpoenas by Yohn asking for camera footage on multiple days in April and May. In his motion, Jones wrote the items requested “have nothing to do with the dates of the alleged offenses.”

“The defendant is under the belief that he is being mistreated and/or treated improperly, and these requests are nothing more than his misguided attempts to gather and obtain ‘evidence or proof of same,’” Jones wrote. 

Yohn took the opportunity to tell Thomson about how he’s been treated in the Adams County Jail.

“I’ve been treated like pure crap,” he said. 

Yohn claims corrections officers have assaulted him five times with witnesses present. He said the assaults happened on Oct. 13, Nov. 15 and Dec. 17 in 2002, and on Jan. 17 and Jan. 22 in 2023. He said he has “30-plus witnesses” who can verify his claims.

Yohn concluded by asking Thomson to enforce a previous ruling to provide office materials as he prepares for trial. Thomson brought with him four legal pads from Mason County, where he was elected as a resident circuit judge in November 2022.

“I’m providing you personally with documents and papers so that you can get whatever you need done and ready for trial,” Thomson said.

Yohn was appreciative but complained he was not allowed to buy envelopes.

“It’s a rule of the Adams County Jail that they can override federal rights,” he claimed.

“That’s the source of a good lawsuit for you to file,” Thomson said as he left the bench.

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