Supermarket Slaying: Mental Health of Murder Suspect Questioned

April 19, 2017, 1:20 PM HST · Updated April 19, 2:32 PM
Nikki Schenfeld · 25 Comments

A continued court hearing to see if murder suspect Stephen B. Schmidt is mentally fit to stand trial was held today at the Wailuku Courthouse in front of Second Circuit Court Judge Richard Bissen.

Stephen Schmidt is accused of stabbing his estranged wife in a confrontation at the Kehalani Foodland on April 19, 2016. Photo (4.25.16) in Wailuku District Court.

The state requested an evidentiary hearing be held next month, May 22, to determine Schmidt’s mental fitness. During that hearing two of the doctors that examined Schmidt will appear via Polycam from the Hawaiʻi State Hospital and the third doctor, who resides on Maui, will appear in court.

Schmidt, 45, is being charged with first-degree murder for the fatal stabbing of his ex-wife, 24-year-old Kehau Farias Schmidt, in the Foodland Kehalani store on April 19, 2016.

Schmidt is also charged with attempted first-degree murder, two counts of attempted second-degree murder and first-degree terroristic threatening. Two men, James Reeves, 34, of Haʻikū and Scott Spencer “Kip” Stolsig, 53, of Wailuku, who tried to help Farias Schmidt, were also stabbed.

In October, the court ordered that Schmidt be examined to determine whether he was suffering from a physical, mental disease, disorder or defect at the time of the offense and to see if Schmidt is fit to stand trial.

The Maui News reported that during a February hearing, Schmidt’s attorney said two of three psychiatrists or psychologists who examined Schmidt concluded that he was unfit for trial. The third examiner could not come to a conclusion about Schmidt’s mental fitness because the defendant urinated on himself which concluded the interview, according to the publication.

Last month, the prosecution objected to the defenses request to find Schmidt mentally unfit to proceed and to commit him to the Hawaiʻi State Hospital. Deputy Prosecutor Andrew Martin said there wasn’t enough evidence in the reports to support that finding.


During Wednesday’s hearing, defense attorney Chris Dunn asked again that the court find Schmidt unfit and to commit him to the Hawaiʻi State Hospital until fitness is regained.

Schmidt appeared in court Wednesday. He is currently being held without bail at the Maui Community Correctional Center.

Nikki Schenfeld
Nikki joined the Maui Now team in 2016 as a writer/reporter. Originally from Chicago, she has had internships with CBS2 Chicago and Comcast SportsNet Chicago where she had the opportunity to interview some of Chicago's best athletes. She graduated from Columbia College Chicago in 2010 with a Bachelor's degree in Broadcast Journalism. She moved to Maui in 2013.

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