Andrew Schmuhl, a Virginia lawyer who, along with his wife, Alecia Schmuhl, attacked and tortured Alecia’s former boss and his wife, has been sentenced to two consecutive life sentences, The Washington Post is reporting.
In 2014, Leo Fisher and his wife, Susan Duncan, were attacked and held as hostages at their home in McLean, Virginia by Andrew and Alecia Schmuhl. The revenge-seeking couple had attacked Fisher and his wife at home because Fisher had fired Alecia Schmuhl from his Arlington-based law firm. Prosecutors say Andrew Schmuhl also wanted to use the opportunity to steal from Fisher.
— ABC7News (@ABC7News) June 13, 2016
Fisher’s testimony before members of the jury netted Andrew Schmuhl two reoccurring life sentences as well as 98 years for the vicious home invasion where he slashed the throats of Fisher and his wife and left them for dead.
Fisher spoke Thursday at the sentencing hearing about how the attack had destroyed his life. He said his wife was usually reserved and quiet, but that it had worsened now because she had totally lost her desire to leave the house. He said his wife had no interest of meeting anyone and was always holed up in her sewing room with two pet cats. Fisher added that his wife suffered hallucinations and nightmares, waking up in the middle of the night, screaming that people were trying to kill her.
— Jeff Goldberg (@abc7jeffg) May 23, 2016
“I just don’t want this guy and his wife—these two monsters—to ever do this to anyone else again. These are human beings who did this to other human beings, and I don’t want anybody to have to go through this again.”
On a Sunday night in November 2014, Andrew and his wife Alecia arrived at Fisher’s $1 million home. Andrew rang the doorbell while his wife remained in the shadows. Prosecutors say Andrew Schmuhl had forced himself into the house using a Taser on Fisher before tying him up with zip ties.
In the master bedroom, Schmuhl had then asked Fisher about where he kept his cash or gold bars. Fisher said he did not have any cash at home, but offered to drive Schmuhl to a bank to get him some cash. An enraged Schmuhl then jumped on Fisher smothered him with a pillow and cut his throat with a knife.
Duncan, who had been ordered into the bathroom by the assailant, rushed into the room to save her husband. Schmuhl, who was also armed with a gun, opened fire. Luckily, the bullet grazed her head, but still, in a desperate attempt to save her life and that of her husband’s, Duncan began crawling to a phone by the bed; Schmuhl then leapt on her and stabbed her repeatedly. He also cut her neck.
Duncan played dead until Schmuhl left the room. She managed to hit the home panic button and called 911. Schmuhl fled the house, but was arrested by police 30 minutes later wearing nothing but a diaper. At his trial, he claimed to have no knowledge of the attack. Police who arrived at the scene of the crime did not expect the couple to survive, but amazingly they both pulled through thanks to a team of amazing trauma surgeons.
Defense attorney Andrew Elders said Schmuhl had struggled with his mental health and had been prescribed at least a dozen medications. He admitted that “something was horribly wrong with Schmuhl’s mental state on that night.”He added that Schmuhl’s three-hour attack was facilitated by the cocktail of drugs that he was on and he could not judge right from wrong. He concluded that his wife, Alecia Schmuhl may have also overdosed him on fentanyl, a potent opiate that left him disoriented.
[Image via Shutterstock/Pavel Vaschenkov]