Murder Suspect Makes First Appearance in Court

Jasper (NNDC):

Kyle Schneider was formally charged in the murder of Chloie Lubbehusen onWednesday.

Judge Nathan Verkamp notified Schneider he could ask him to step down as the judge because of his involvement based on previous case which was a 2012 burglary conviction and could be a conflict of interest. Verkamp told Schneider he believed he could be fair and impartial in the case but indicated it was up to Kyle’s lawyer on how to go forward.

After a brief break, Kyle’s attorney  signed a waiver allowing Judge Verkamp to preside over the case.

The legal representative was then informed that the Dubois County Prosecutor’s office filed a notice of seeking a habitual offender status. The filing was based on his two felony convictions on prior incidents.  First, the 2012 burglary conviction and a second conviction on felony domestic battery last July.

Schneider faces up to 65 years in prison on the murder charge, according to Indiana sentencing guidelines. The habitual status could possibly add up to an additional 20 years to the sentence.

While Verkamp was informing Schneider of the charges against him, the defendant became uncommunicative when the judge asked if he thought he could understand and participate in the courtroom proceedings. Verkamp then rephrased the question, asking if he suffered from any mental or emotional disability that would prevent him from understanding the proceedings.

Schneider didn’t respond and his court-appointed attorney and told the judge there may be an issue related to mental health.

Judge Verkamp continued and explained the charges against Schneider and asked if he understood, the defendant answered each question with a quiet affirmative as he stared down at the table where he sat.

The court entered a preliminary plea of not guilty on Schneider’s behalf. Schneider will remain at the Dubois County Security Center without bond. His next court appearance was set for March 18.

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