Ex-SCHS star enters pleas to charges
Former Sevier County High basketball star Devin Schmidt entered deferred pleas Tuesday that will allow his record to be cleared in a year if his actions satisfy the court.
Schmidt, 18, entered a deferred plea to both domestic assault and criminal trespass — two separate incidents that resulted in his arrest in recent weeks. The first one led to his dismissal from the team.
His attorney, Bryan Delius, said Schmidt apologized to the court, his family and the female victim who filed the domestic violence charge against him. As part of the plea Schmidt must perform five days of public service work, attend a batterer intervention program that involves anger management, pay $250 restitution to the victim for her cell phone, adhere to a restraining order to stay away from the victim and her family, and pay court costs in the domestic violence case.
"I'm very pleased with the result," Delius said.
Delius said Schmidt's scholarship offer from Delta State University in Mississippi has not been withdrawn, and Schmidt plans to attend that institution as early as this summer. Delius said Schmidt is in schedule to earn his diploma this spring.
Schmidt was arrested Feb. 23 after a confrontation between him and his 17-year-old girlfriend at the time. The incident occurred shortly after Schmidt led the Smoky Bears to a win in the regional tournament at SCHS. Her statement to police said Schmidt grabbed her as she tried to run away and "pushed me against the wall and pushed my head against the brick wall. He also spit on me twice." Schmidt's version differed, telling police he grabbed her to stop her from hitting him.
Schmidt was dismissed from the team the day after his arrest.
On March 10, a Sunday, Schmidt was accused of breaking into the Sevierville Middle School gym. A teacher who had gone to the school to work in her classroom heard a noise and found Schmidt inside the building. He was charged with burglary.
However, Delius said witnesses were prepared to testify that Schmidt entered the school through an unlocked door to get some water after playing basketball on the school property. He remained outside while police were called and cooperated with officers, Delius said. Delius said surveillance video showed Schmidt was walking toward a water fountain when confronted by the teacher.
Schmidt entered a deferred plea to the reduced charge of criminal trespass and was not required to pay full court costs in that case, Delius said.
Delius said the news media overplayed the story about the school incident, saying it received more significant coverage than it deserved.