By Patric Hedlund
VENTURA, CA (Monday, July 26, 2010, 9 p.m.)—A writ of appeal was filed Monday, July 26 by Ventura County Public Defender Rod Kodman seeking to have the grand jury indictment of Jayson Schimmel, 33 set aside. Schimmel, of Lockwood Valley, has been indicted for homicide in the death of his two and a half month old infant son. A jury trial has been set to begin on September 23, 2010.
Schimmel was arrested in Frazier Park at Dunn Right Auto Repair on Mt. Pinos Way in the afternoon of March 5, 2009 "for the murder of his biological son." The child died on March 2, 2009 and had marks consistent, sheriff’s said, with "battered child syndrome."
The defense attorney claims in the appeal that "exculpatory evidence" was not submitted to the grand jury by the prosecutor, in accord with the law. Kodman says that Schimmel recanted his confession to killing his own son, but that the prosecutor did not present that information to the grand jury. He also said that information accusing mother Elizabeth Hill, 19 of being responsible for the child’s injuries was not adequately presented.
Defense attorneys are not allowed to be part of the closed grand jury proceeding, so "In a grand jury proceeding, the prosecutor has a duty to present the exculpatory information," Kodman said in an interview on Friday, July 23. On Monday, July 26 he told Alex Wilson, reporting for The Mountain Enterprise, that this writ "might go all the way up to the State Supreme Court."
Schimmel is still in custody in Ventura County Jail, with bail set at $505,000.
This is part of the July 23, 2010 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.
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