Gary Schmitt in Custody After Alleged Attack of Woman


Published on September 22 2020 8:56 pm
Last Updated on September 22 2020 8:56 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

Former Effingham resident Gary Schmitt, who confessed to killing his father and attacking a woman and her daughter, has been arrested after allegedly strangling a woman at the mental health center where he is being held.

The 56-year-old Schmitt reportedly attempted to strangle a woman from behind until she passed out. The incident allegedly occurred at McFarland Mental Health Center in Springfield Friday night. The woman was taken to the hospital for treatment of her injuries.

Schmitt has been arrested on counts of domestic battery causing bodily harm and aggravated battery causing great bodily harm. During a court appearance on Tuesday, Schmitt's bond was set at $500,000. 

Effingham County State's Attorney Bryan Kibler said Tuesday night that authorities plan to relocate Schmitt from McFarland to a more secure facility.

Schmitt was found not guilty by reason of insanity for killing his father, Jack, in 2010 and then attacking a woman and her daughter when visiting their home a few months later.

Schmitt had petitioned to be moved from McFarland to a group home setting last year, but the request was denied by Judge Kimberly Koester. Schmitt had appealed the ruling.