Monday, December 11, 2017
 
Couple Sentenced in Savage Attack on Prominent Northern Virginia Lawyer and Wife

ARLINGTON, VA Sept. 19 (DPI) – A man who viciously attacked a prominent Northern Virginia lawyer and his wife in a home invasion in 2014 is facing a long prison sentence – though the assailant’s wife, who assisted in the attack and was a former employee of one of the victims, negotiated a plea deal and may be out of prison in less than a decade.

The Washington Post reported that Alecia Schmuhl will likely be sentenced to between 10 and 45 years in prison for her role in the brutal home invasion, which almost killed Leo Fisher and his wife Susan Duncan.  The attack took place at their McLean, Va., home in November 2014.

Schmuhl’s husband, Andrew Schmuhl, carried out the vicious crime with his wife’s support, a few weeks after Fisher had fired Mrs. Schmuhl from the firm Fisher led, the Arlington law firm of Bean Kinney & Korman.  The motive for the attack, prosecutors said, was revenge for losing her job.

Andrew Schmuhl, who was also an unemployed lawyer at the time of the attack, was convicted and sentenced to two life terms plus 98 years, virtually assuring that he will spend the rest of his life in jail.

Alecia Schmuhl, age 32, could be out of prison while still in middle age. Prosecutors, who agreed to a plea deal that will avoid a trial, are confident that the sentencing judge will apply a full 45-year sentence. She could be paroled much earlier.

One comment on The Washington Post site today – the source of which sounded like a defense of the plea deal – may have originated from a prosecuting attorney sensitive to the perception that the state went easy on one of the assailants.

She’s 32; she’ll get the full 45 and get out at 77. With this bizarre but one-time crime, she won’t be a threat then. And she will get all of the 45 or pretty close, especially given the judge’s remarks at the husband’s sentencing.  She can’t get more than life, so if they offered her more than 45 years, she may as well roll the dice and go to trial.
The plea, however, saves us taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars. And more important, it spares the two victims of publicly reliving that evil event.   There are some “hard on crime” types who want to ban plea agreements–they do not think about what such a rule would do, certainly more harm than good, and this case is a textbook example of one of the many reasons we need that tool.

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