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Man facing attempted-murder charge says he didn't understand his rights when he confessed

Nov 1, 2015 By Eric Blom, Staff Writer

A Kinnear man facing an at-tempted first-degree murder charge is hoping to keep an interview he did with law enforcement out of his trial.

During a pretrial conference Wednesday in Lander District Court, public defender Jonathan Girard argued, in part, that his client, Terry L. Schmuck, did not understand his Miranda rights before the interview in question, which was conducted by Fremont County Sheriff's Detective Eric Granlund.

That interview contained a confession, Fremont County Attorney Patrick LeBrun said at the hearing.

Investigators think Schmuck attacked his wife, Cindy Schmuck, with a hatchet on May 28 at her home in the 100 block of Windy Flat Drive near Kinnear after she served him with divorce papers earlier that day.

Tape of the interview in question shows that Granlund ex-plained Terry Schmuck's rights, but when the detective asked if the defendant understood, Terry Schmuck grunted, Girard said.

The detective then slid a paper across the table stating Terry Schmuck understood his rights and said, "Sign it," Girard said.


LeBrun argued Girard's motion to suppress the interview was past the deadline imposed for such motions.

The county attorney also contended Granlund informed Terry Schmuck of his rights.

District Court Judge Norman E. Young decided to continue the hearing until Tuesday, when he will hear further argument from both sides and make a decision about the issue.

Plea agreement

No plea agreement had been reached before Wednesday's pretrial conference.

Pretrial conferences often are the court-imposed deadlines for plea agreements. Judges still can allow deals to be reached in cases after those hearings, however.

Schmuck's trial is set to begin Nov. 16.

Attempted first-degree murder is a felony punishable by life imprisonment.

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