Springfield, Illinois – Illinois State Police arrested a McFarland Health Center patient after he strangled a woman from behind until she passed out.
The suspect was identified by McFarland Security as Gary B. Schmitt, age 56. In 2012 Schmitt was sent to McFarland after being found not guilty by reason of insanity after he killed his father with a rock and attempted to kill two women with a knife.
His recent encounter with police happened on Friday, September 18, 2020 around 6:15 p.m. Illinois State Police Trooper Anthony Kink arrested Schmitt for Aggravated Battery, a class 3 felony and Battery, a class 4 felony. Trooper Kink reported that Schmitt entered another patents room and attacked a female patient from behind. “Schmitt wrapped his hands around the female’s neck and started to strangle the female victim,” Trooper Kink wrote. “The female victim lost consciousness and security was alerted to the incident. Emergency medical transported the female victim to (a local hospital) where she was treated for her injuries.”
Last year, Schmitt wanted to be released to a group home in Springfield, Illinois instead of residing at McFarland. He petitioned the court for that request but was denied by Effingham Circuit Court Judge Kimberly Koester. Koester had ruled that Schmitt remains risky. “This court cannot conclude that after only six years of treatment that the defendant (Schmitt) has shown that he would not benefit from in-patient treatment. Only further time with continued compliance and increasing privileges will we see if the defendant is truly in control of mental illness,” Koester wrote.
Schmitt was found not guilty of murdering his father in 2010. At the time, police believed his father might have fallen, but an autopsy proved otherwise. Six months later, after killing his father, Schmitt reconnected via Facebook with a woman, who he knew from high school. He attacked the woman and her daughter with a hunting knife. After attacking both women, Schmitt drove to his mother’s house and turned himself in to police. During questioning by police, he told them he killed his father.
According to past media reports, Schmitt had been suffering from mental illness since the 1980’s.
Schmitt is still in custody at the Sangamon County Jail awaiting official charges.
This content was originally published here.