Spokane trial for 2012 New Year's murder begins




Posted on April 14, 2014 at 4:10 PM

Updated Monday, Apr 14 at 6:22 PM

SPOKANE, Wash.—The trial for a man accused of murdering his girlfriend on New Year’s Day in 2012 began Monday.

Detectives said Daniel Arteaga shot Kimberly Schmidt with her own gun inside her home.

Both sides of the case questioned jurors on Monday.

READ: Trial for man accused of killing girlfriend starts Monday

Friends of Schmidt described Arteaga as incredibly controlling and bizarre, according to court documents. The documents said one friend recalled Arteaga dumping a bottle of ketchup over Schmidt’s head during a night out for no apparent reason.

Schmidt was found shot in the head. Document showed Arteaga and Schmidt were in a relationship on and off again for six and a half years.

READ: Judge delays Spokane trial for 2011 murder until 2014

Documents showed Schmidt was found in her bed, wearing the clothes Arteaga described last seeing her in on that deadly New Year’s Eve night.

Arteaga recalled a night full of passion and reminiscing about their relationship, according to documents. Detectives said they have text messages that prove Schmidt wanted their affair over.

Records showed Schmidt had rekindled a flame with the father of her daughter. Texts also showed Arteaga owed Schmidt money.

Arteaga admitted to giving Schmidt Advil PM the night she was killed, according to records. Documents show he claimed Schmidt was complaining of a headache.

It took detectives eight months but they arrested Arteaga for the murder. Schmidt’s mother, Tony, was set to take the stand for prosecution. Records showed she notified authorities shortly after her daughter’s death that her daughter had taken down pictures of her and Arteaga prior to the death.

Records showed other confidants of Schmidt also said Arteaga was extremely controlling, even alleging he once strangled her.

READ: Arrest made in New Year's Day murder of Kimberly Schmidt

Court papers showed the defense would paint a much different picture of Arteaga. The papers showed they would present pictures of the couple in happy times, even one of them kissing.

Records showed Schmidt’s mother discovered the body at her home. The records showed there were no signs of forced entry.

A 911 dispatcher was set to take the stand first followed by the victim’s mother.

A jury was set to be finalized by Tuesday.