High cash bond set for man accused of murdering wife - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

High cash bond set for man accused of murdering wife

Crime scene on Country Club Road in Minocqua June 18, 2010 Crime scene on Country Club Road in Minocqua June 18, 2010
William R. Schmidt appears in Oneida County court via video conferencing William R. Schmidt appears in Oneida County court via video conferencing

by Colby Robertson

ONEIDA COUNTY (WAOW) -- William R. Schmidt is charged with first degree intentional homicide. In June, Minocqua Police went to Lori Schmidt's home because her parents hadn't heard from her in several days.

Officers found Lori's body wrapped in a comforter in a bedroom closet. Investigators wanted to talk with Lori's husband William, but he hid from police for several days.

The judge ordered a high cash bond of $500,000 dollars sighting the defendants criminal history and strength of evidence as reasons.

Schmidt faces life in prison if convicted. Very few details have been released about this murder. Now, two months later we learn more about how and why Lori Schmidt died.

The precise reasons behind what led to this murder remain under investigation. William Schmidt hasn't talked to police at this point, but according to family members Schmidt and his wife had problems from the beginning.

The marriage between Lori Schmidt and her husband William was brief and documents show it was full of arguments and trust issues.

Oneida County District Attorney Michael Bloom says, "It is clear that the marriage between the defendant and the victim which was about four months duration had started to go bad prior to this happening."

Police found Lori's decomposed body in the early morning hours of June 18th inside her home on Country Club Road in Minocqua. Prosecutors say there's no evidence indicating the victim was stabbed or shot, but her body was decomposing so badly a cause of death was difficult to determine.

Bloom says, "Given the fact that the body had decomposed to a certain extent at the time the body was discovered and therefore a certain amount of decomposition had occurred at the time the autopsy was performed, there were limits on the autopsy doctor to be conclusive in certain evaluations."

Prosecutors are unsure how long her dead body was wrapped in a comforter and left in the master bedroom closet, but it could have been as long as six days.

Bloom says, "There are a variety of different factors that come into play as to the speed a body decomposes. In this case it's not clear exactly how long the body had been decomposing before it was discovered but there was a significant amount of decomposition that had occurred by the time it was discovered."

The cause of death can only be determined as homicide by unspecified means. Still prosecutors have an apparent confession from the defendant.

According to the criminal complaint Schmidt told his mother that he killed Lori, but she didn't suffer and he did it after she passed out. It's a confession that prosecutors hope to use as this case progresses.

Bloom says, "From the states perspective, the statements that his mother claimed to have made are strong evidence that he did in fact commit this homicide."

Schmidt is scheduled to be back in court September 1st for his preliminary hearing. Schmidt has a very long criminal history throughout the state of Wisconsin including several counts of burglary and armed robbery. He was released in 2009 after serving 12 years in prison.

Online Reporter: Colby Robertson

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