Ex-Bear Schmidt faces new charges

Former basketball star accused of school break-in
Mar. 12, 2013 @ 05:26 PM

Former Smoky Bears basketball star Devin Schmidt, who was booted from the team following his arrest last month, is facing new charges after he allegedly broke into Sevierville Middle School over the weekend.

Schmidt, a senior at Sevier County High, is accused of breaking into the middle school at about 4 p.m. Sunday, said Bob Stahlke, public information officer for the Sevierville Police Department.

A teacher had gone to the school to complete some work in her classroom when she heard a noise and found Schmidt inside the building, which was locked, Stahlke reported.

In a statement provided to police, a teacher said she heard a sound from doors slamming in the hallway while she was working on lesson plans in her classroom. She went to investigate, and hadn't gotten far when she encountered Schmidt.

"When he saw me he had a very shocked look on his face," said the teacher, who was named in the police report but whose identity The Mountain Press is withholding. "I asked him why he was in the school, he responded that him and his friends wanted a drink of water and could not get it out of the spout on the wall outside.

"I again asked how he got in; he said the door was unlocked 'I promise,'" the teacher said.

When Officer Rebecca Cowan arrived she found that there were several male subjects outside the school, but that Schmidt was the only one who had apparently entered the building.

"(One of the males) advised that he opened the door, but did not go in because he heard the teacher. Schmidt admitted he was in the school, but said that he was looking for a water fountain. Schmidt said the door was (propped) open.

"I checked the door and found a key broke off in the door. I also saw that there was a nothing that a door could be (propped) open with," the teacher wrote in her statement to police.

An investigator and administrators reviewed security footage from the school, and on Monday, Detective Doug Shanks obtained a warrant for Schmidt’s arrest on a burglary charge. He was arrested Tuesday, and booked at the Sevier County Jail. The other teens were advised they could not come back on the middle school campus.

It’s the second criminal complaint against Schmidt, 18, in the last few weeks. He was arrested Feb. 23 on a domestic assault charge, just hours after he led his team to a victory over Sullivan South in the first round of the Region 1-AAA tournament.

The warrant alleges Schmidt assaulted his 15-year-old girlfriend at Sevier County High School before the game by shoving her against a wall, hitting her head against the wall, spitting on her and breaking her phone.

Schmidt has never spoken publicly about that incident, but papers filed by police indicate he told an officer the girl was hitting him and he grabbed her to stop him; he said she broke the phone herself.

He was kicked off the team after the incident, but was later named the District 2-AAA MVP. He has a scholarship to play at Delta State University in Mississippi.

Sevier County School officials have not disclosed any other disciplinary actions taken against Schmidt after that incident; on Tuesday, SCHS Principal Toby Ward indicated he was unaware of any change in Schmidt's status following the latest arrest.

jfarrell@themountainpress.com