A Montgomery County jury sentenced Harold Blain Schmidt to life in prison for the Mother’s Day 2008 drunk driving death of Eddie Haynes, and critical injuries of his wife Cheryl.
The crash site video and interview with law enforcement is below.
STATEMENT FROM THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE
CONROE- A Montgomery County Jury sentenced Harold Blain Schmidt to life in prison Thursday after convicting him of felony murder in the May 11, 2008 Driving While Intoxicated Death of Lexie Edward Haynes, IV of Montgomery County, Texas. The felony murder charge was pursued as the result of the three prior Driving While Intoxicated convictions on Mr. Schmidt’s record. Mr. Schmidt’s blood alcohol content was approximately four times the legal limit at the time of the crash.
Brett Peabody and Rob Freyer presented the case for the State led by investigating Officer Jeff Smith of the Conroe Police Department. Officer Smith testified that while on bond following an arrest for his fourth DWI, Mr. Schmidt failed to yield the right of way to a motorcycle being driven by Mr. Haynes. The defendant had disabled the ignition interlock device he was required to have on his vehicle as a condition of his bond. Cheryl Haynes, Mr. Haynes’s wife, was a passenger on the motorcycle, and is permanently disabled as a result of the crash. The jury sentenced the defendant to the maximum of 20 years in prison for the Intoxication Assault charge associated with her injuries. They also handed down two 16 year sentences to Mr. Schmidt for fleeing from the scene of the accident and running to hide in the woods. Maximum fines were assessed in each count.
After the verdicts were pronounced by 359th District Court Judge Kathleen Hamilton, multiple victims’ family members described a fun loving couple who enjoyed horseback riding and drag racing as a family. Jurors cried as Mr. Haynes’s mother described observing the couple underneath their mustang preparing it for the next race. “This family should never have had to experience such a tragic loss,” said District Attorney Brett Ligon. “Mr. Schmidt turned his vehicle into a deadly weapon when he got behind the wheel that night. While no amount of prison time can heal these families’ wounds, I want to assure the public that we will continue to pursue maximum sentences on repeat DWI offenders until Montgomery County loses the distinction of having some of the deadliest roadways in the State.”