Man Killed Grandmother to Fund 'Lifestyle of Gluttony': Prosecutor | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

Man Killed Grandmother to Fund 'Lifestyle of Gluttony': Prosecutor

Rich A. Schmelzer was found guilty in the July 2014 stabbing death of 85-year-old Mildred “Dodie” Darrington

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Kane County State's Attorney's Office
    Rich A. Schmelzer, 44, of Frisco, Texas

    A Texas man who grew up in Illinois was convicted Tuesday of murdering his grandmother in her suburban East Dundee home, according to the Kane County State’s Attorney’s office.

    A jury found 44-year-old Rich A. Schmelzer, of Frisco, Texas, guilty of first-degree murder in the July 2014 stabbing death of 85-year-old Mildred “Dodie” Darrington.

    Lawmakers 'Tricked' Into Honoring Ku Klux Klansman

    [NATL] Tennessee Lawmakers 'Tricked' Into Honoring Ku Klux Klansman

    Lawmakers in Tennessee are crying foul after Republican Rep. Mike Sparks sneaked in a resolution to honor former Ku Klux Klansman Nathan Bedford Forrest with a bust under a different name. The resolution passed unanimously, 94-0, and the bust was installed at the state Capitol before lawmakers realized the mistake. 

    (Published Friday, April 28, 2017)

    Over the course of the 11-day trial, prosecutors presented evidence that Schmelzer “became deeply in debt as a result of a lavish lifestyle involving female escorts and other extravagances that were well beyond his means,” the State’s Attorney’s office said in a release.

    At the time, he was married with four daughters and unable to pay his bills, authorities said, failing to make mortgage payments for more than four years. Schmelzer had asked family members for loans to no avail, officials said, and as the co-executor of Darrington’s estate, began to transfer money from her credit cards.

    Schmelzer stood to inherit half of his grandmother’s $800K estate, and began plotting in mid-July 2014 to drive from Texas to the Chicago area to murder her, prosecutors said.

    He had a cousin rent a car in the cousin’s name, officials said, and used a prepaid gift card to cover his expenses, including a cell phone he purchased to use on the trip. Schmelzer told his wife he would be attending a conference in the Dallas area, according to prosecutors, and began the 14-hour drive to East Dundee on July 17.

    UC Davis Now Sells Plan B and Condoms From a Vending Machine

    [NATL] UC Davis Now Sells Plan B, Pregnancy Tests and Condoms From a Vending Machine

    Students at the University of California, Davis, can now purchase $30 Plan B emergency contraceptives, pregnancy tests, condoms and other personal care products from a vending machine. The idea came from UC Davis senior Parteek Singh, after a friend was unable to buy emergency contraceptives in time. 

    (Published Friday, April 28, 2017)

    Schmelzer arrived the next morning, let himself in and stabbed Darrington in the neck as she was in bed, according to authorities. When she failed to show up for her regular hair appointment, her hairdresser went to check on her and called 911 upon finding her unresponsive in her bed, officials said.

    Prosecutors said Schmelzer was able to obtain a receipt from a restaurant he frequented near his home, falsely marked with a date and time corresponding to his trip to Illinois, and also convinced an acquaintance to send him an email implying that they had eaten lunch together at a time when he was actually driving back to Texas.

    Schmelzer was arrested and charged with first-degree murder the following month, and has been in custody in the Kane County jail since September 2014 in lieu of $5 million bail.

    “As we gathered the evidence of Mildred’s murder, it became clear how Mr. Schmelzer went to great lengths to attempt to cover up his crime,” Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon said.

    Millennials Found Most Susceptible to Robocalls and Scams

    [NATL] Millennials Found Most Susceptible to Robocalls and Scams

    A new study finds that it is not the elderly who are most susceptible to scam phone calls, but millennials, who are six times more likely to give away credit card information than any other age group. 

    (Published Saturday, April 29, 2017)

    “His deceit is astonishing, and it was done because he was so overcome with greed. Quite frankly, it’s still hard to fathom – this man killed his own grandmother to further a lifestyle of gluttony that he couldn’t otherwise pay for. He had 14 hours and 900 miles to rethink his plan, but he carried it out, anyway — a calculated, cold-blooded murder.”

    Schmelzer faces between 20 and 60 years in prison, and is next scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 25, 2017.