‘This is the Tina Lohman show’: Family anxious for justice as Yohn sexual assault trial gets started

Using video and audio recordings made by Christina "Tina" Schmitt to law enforcement in Nov. 2021, Bradley Yohn attempted to demonstrate what he sees as evidence tampering against him. Yohn has been charged with kidnapping, vehicular hijacking, and criminal sexual assault, among others, in an alleged attack of Schmitt in 2021.

Using video and audio recordings made by Christina "Tina" Schmitt (shown on a projector screen) to law enforcement in Nov. 2021, Bradley Yohn attempted to demonstrate what he saw as evidence tampering against him during a June 8 hearing in Adams County Circuit Court. Yohn has been charged with kidnapping, vehicular hijacking and criminal sexual assault in an alleged attack of Schmitt in Nov. 2021. | File pool photo by Mike Sorensen/Herald-Whig

QUINCY — The children of Christine “Tina” Lohman Schmitt are finally ready to see the man charged with sexually assaulting their mother go to trial.

“We are glad this day is here, because this is not the Bradley Yohn show,” said Heidi Young, the oldest of Schmitt’s four children. “This is the Tina Lohman show.

“Whenever we talk about the case, people say, ‘Oh, the Bradley Yohn case.’ No, it was my mother. We felt like she’s gotten lost in all of this, and that’s sad, because she was brutally attacked.”

Young and her sister, Ilsa Terrell, were in the courtroom Monday — like they have for every court appearance made by Yohn — for jury selection. Brothers Chip Lohman and Derek Lohman live away from Quincy but are expected to be in attendance this week for the trial. Opening statements are scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

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 Lohman Schmitt. Yohn appeared in Adams County Circuit Court Monday before Judge Roger Thomson to defend himself pro se with public defender Todd Nelson serving as standby counsel. 

The events of that night have since dominated the lives of Lohman Schmitt’s children. 

Their mother died about one month after she was attacked in her home. 

They had a chance to make victim impact statements on May 5 when Judge Amy Lannerd sentenced Karen Blackledge, who allegedly was Yohn’s accomplice, to 40 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections on one count of home invasion and one count of aggravated criminal sexual assault.

Yohn was scheduled to go to trial last June, but it ended moments before jury selection was set to begin when Yohn told Thomson, “I can’t do this.”

Now, a year later, Lohman Schmitt’s children are anxious for justice.

“We don’t want any more delays,” Young said. “We’ve been languishing enough in the last year and a half.”

Young said her family believes both Yohn and Blackledge should already have been incarcerated before Nov. 9, 2021.

She said Yohn was mistakenly released from the St. Charles (Mo.) County Jail shortly before the incident involving her mother. She also claims Blackledge went before an Adams County judge four times on the day she attacked Lohman Schmitt.

“She had broken probation,” Young said. “She had more than $30,000 in fines, more than 50 charges against her and nine felonies. She shouldn’t have been on the street. But nobody put her in jail that day. Both of them should have been in jail, and this wouldn’t have happened.”

The questions asked of potential jurors during jury selection Monday even upset the family.

“They asked, ‘Do you know Bradley Yohn or his family?’ or ‘Do you know the state’s attorneys?’” Young said. “No one ever said, ‘Did you know Tina Lohman?’ That’s why we felt like she got lost in all this, and she’s not here. If she was here, she would have made herself known.”

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