Attempted murder with hatchet trial starting today

A 46-year-old Kinnear man is standing trial this week for allegedly attempting to murder his estranged wife with a hatchet in late May. Terry L. Schmuck is charged with a single count of attempted first degree murder, which is punishable by up to life in prison. The case is being tried before a 12-person jury, along with a single alternate. There are seven men and six women. In her opening statements, Fremont County Deputy Attorney Ember Oakley claimed the jury would find evidence of "a man unraveled" who was so angry at his wife for serving him with divorce papers and protection order that he tried to kill her. The state claims they'll prove that Schmuck took a hatchet from where he was living about 20 miles away, drove to his wife's home, cut the phone line, forced his way through a locked door, and attacked her with the hatchet, striking her twice in the head. "I'm going to kill you, you f- b-," he allegedly said while he entered the bedroom. The defense team, led by Dan Caldwell, painted a different scenario. They said their client was amiable to the separation and had been fine with conversations about how to divide property. They said Schmuck did become angry when he was served with the divorce papers because she wanted to take everything. Caldwell said that when Schmuck entered the bedroom, his estranged wife Cindy had a coyote gun (which turned out to be unloaded) in her hands and was pulling the trigger in an attempt to shoot him. Caldwell said Schmuck did hit her with the head of the hatchet once while attempting to push the gun out of her hands, and that she hit her head on an iron chair in the fall, which is the second wound (not from the hatchet as the state will argue). Caldwell added that his client then assisted Cindy with her injury, retrieved her purse from her vehicle and leaving behind a gun, and taking her to the hospital. The trial is slated for several days into the week. #county10 #news