Preparations for Cromwell double murder trial continueThe man accused of murdering a Cromwell couple by shooting each of the victims in the back of the head and the woman accused of helping him appeared in Carlton County District Court on Friday.
By: Mark Stodghill, Forum Communications, Pine Journal
CARLTON – The man accused of murdering a Cromwell couple by shooting each of the victims in the back of the head and the woman accused of helping him appeared in Carlton County District Court on Friday.
Joshua David Martineau, 29, whose previous name was David Joshua Annette, is charged with two counts of premeditated first-degree murder and two counts of first-degree murder while committing or attempting to commit first-degree burglary and/or aggravated
His alleged accomplice, Rachel Charlotte Defoe, 25, is charged with two counts of aiding and abetting premeditated first-degree murder and two counts of aiding and abetting first-degree murder while committing or attempting to commit first-degree burglary and/or aggravated robbery. Both defendants are from Cloquet.
The defendants, who were romantically involved, are accused of taking part in the slayings of Kim Schmitz and her boyfriend, Thomas Holm, both 53, in the victims’ Cromwell home in January.
The hearings were brief as Carlton County Attorney Thom Pertler and the defense attorneys simply informed 6th Judicial District Judge Robert Macaulay of where they were in the process of moving toward trial.
Martineau’s defense attorney, Keith Shaw of Duluth, said after the hearing that he is considering appealing Macaulay’s order denying his motion to suppress his client’s statement to Carlton County sheriff’s
“The issue is the statement he gave while under the influence of heroin or having withdrawal for lack thereof,” Shaw said outside the courtroom, “and whether he made a voluntary, knowing and intelligent waiver of his Miranda rights.”
Martineau’s next hearing is scheduled for Oct. 28.
Cloquet defense attorney Joanna Wiegert represents Defoe. Wiegert said she plans to appeal the indictment against her client and the judge’s pretrial rulings, without specifying which rulings. Because such an appeal could go from the state Court of Appeals to the state Supreme Court and delay the trial for months, Defoe’s next court appearance has not been scheduled.
“One of our primary concerns with the indictment beyond the fact that there seems to have been some confusion on the part of the grand jurors when they issued the indictment – specifically confusion about the aiding and abetting provisions – the prosecution had only asked for two counts against Miss Defoe and I believe they were only related to Tom Holm. They were not seeking indictments related to Kim Schmitz’s death because she (Defoe) was nowhere around. According to her statement she left long before Kim Schmitz even came on the scene.”
Wiegert said she is also considering asking the court to move the trial to another county because of prejudicial news coverage. She has discussed with Fred Friedman, Northeastern Minnesota’s chief public defender, the possibility of conducting a juror survey to find out what potential Carlton County jurors have learned about the case through the media.
Pertler said the motive of the crimes was burglary and robbery, but authorities don’t know what led to the brutal murders. The prosecutor said there is no evidence of any past disputes between the defendants and victims. He said only Martineau knows what led him to do what he is accused of doing.
The defendants face a mandatory life prison sentence if convicted of first-degree
According to the criminal complaint: The defendants told investigators that Defoe drove Martineau to the victims’ Cromwell residence for a visit in the early afternoon Jan. 8. They then left for a short time and developed a plan to rob Holm.
Defoe allegedly drove back to the victims’ residence and remained in her vehicle while Martineau went into the residence and shot and killed Holm. Martineau loaded their vehicle with stolen property from the residence, including guns, fishing gear and a chain saw. Defoe left the home and Martineau
When Schmitz arrived home from work, Martineau said in the complaint, he killed her, too. In Wiegert’s motion to dismiss the grand jury indictment against Defoe, she writes: “(Martineau) confessed to killing both victims and told police that Defoe was not involved in the murders.”
Wiegert also wrote that Martineau struggled with Schmitz and hoped to tie her up and get out of the house without her recognizing him. When Schmitz recognized him and said his name, he shot her, according to Wiegert’s motion.
The complaint states that Martineau put the clothes the defendants had been wearing into Holm’s truck, drove the truck into the ditch on Albert Road in St. Louis County and set it on fire.
The defendants are being held in the Carlton County Jail on $1 million bail each.