A Triad school board member has been charged in Effingham County with murdering his father and stabbing a woman and her daughter.
He thought his father was in bad health when he repeatedly hit him in the back of the head with a rock, Effingham County State's Attorney Ed Deters said.
As for the women: "He gave a statement to police in which he stated that he believed God had told him to do this," Deters said.
Gary B. Schmitt, 46, of Troy, who also has worked for years as director of finance for the Belleville-based Catholic Social Services of Southern Illinois, was arrested Sunday on charges of stabbing the woman and her daughter that evening at their home in Edgewood. After his arrest he told police he had killed his father in June by hitting him on the head with a rock, according to authorities.
Schmitt was arraigned Tuesday afternoon in Effingham County Circuit Court on charges of first-degree murder, attempted murder and aggravated battery. Deters told the judge of Schmitt's claim that God directed the attack Sunday.
As for the alleged killing of Schmitt's father, Deters told the court: "He believed his father to be in bad health, and didn't want to see him suffer through a prolonged illness. He hit him in the back of the head with a rock, several times."
Deters said Schmitt remained in custody Tuesday afternoon, with a hearing set for Friday on whether he should be denied bail.
Deters said the murder case and the stabbing case are unrelated.