Schwendenman indicted on murder charge

OKEECHOBEE — A man accused of killing his wife in July has been indicted on a charge of premeditated first degree murder with a firearm.

An Okeechobee County grand jury Tuesday, Sept. 13, handed down a true bill officially charging David Anthony Schwendenmann in the July 29 murder of his 48-year-old wife, Angela Marie Schwendenmann. The couple had been married 19 years.SCHWENDENMANN, DAVID

Schwendenmann is also charged with aggravated battery on a pregnant woman, robbery, fleeing and eluding a law enforcement officer and attempted first degree murder of a law enforcement officer with a firearm.

He is being held in the Okeechobee County Jail without bond on counts one and two — the murder and attempted murder charges. He will have his first-appearance hearing Wednesday on the other three counts and could receive a bond for those charges.

Assistant state attorney Ashley Albright, who is prosecuting the case along with assistant state attorney Don Richardson, said Tuesday afternoon no decision has been made on whether Schwendenmann will face the death penalty or not.

He said that decision will be made after he and Mr. Richardson meet with State Attorney Bruce Colton.

Schwendenmann is currently represented by defense attorney Stanley Glenn from the District 19 public defender’s office.

According to a probable cause affidavit by Detective Corporal Rosemary Farless, of the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO), the couple were arguing in their S.E. 58th Drive home around 5 p.m. that hot Friday evening when, stated a witness, there was a ‘BOOM.’

The witness then walked into the home and saw Angela laying on the floor in a pool of blood.

Schwendenmann, continued the detective, had shot his wife in the left side of her throat with a slug from a 12 gauge shotgun.

The OCSO investigator also described how the couple had engaged in a “very bad” argument two to three weeks prior to the shooting. That confrontation ended when Schwendenmann allegedly picked up a shotgun and hit his wife in the left side of her head with the butt of the gun. The force of the blow knocked Angela off her feet, continued the report.

Cpl. Farless noted in her report that during the woman’s autopsy, a fading bruise with yellowish coloring was found on the left side of Angela’s head.

After killing his wife, the detective documented how Schwendenmann got in his car and drove to his daughter’s home at a U.S. 441 S.E. RV park. He now needed another vehicle because he had a flat tire on the blue four-door Toyota he was driving.

Once inside his daughter’s home, the man pushed his forearm against his daughter’s chest, wrapped his fingers around her throat then squeezed and demanded the keys to the Ford Explorer used by her and her fiancé. The daughter was 15 weeks pregnant at the time.

The fiancé gave Schwendenmann the keys just to get him out of his home.

After Schwendenmann had gone, the fiancé waved down an OCSO deputy, who then got on the radio and issued an alert for the man.

Before leaving his daughter’s home the man transferred three shotguns and several rounds of shotgun shells from the Toyota to the Explorer.

By this time OCSO deputies Jose Garduno and Yero Todman had deployed stop sticks at Brother’s RV Park, 8190 U.S. 441 S.E., and were waiting for Schwendenmann to come their way.

As Schwendenmann approached the stop sticks, he slammed on the brakes and came to a screaching halt. The deputies then ran up to the Explorer. Immediately behind the SUV was Cpl. Farless.

“I could hear Todman or Garduno yelling to David: “Put your hands up! Put your hands up! GUN!’” stated the detective’s report. “Then I heard: ‘Don’t touch the gun! Don’t touch the gun!’ I saw D/S Garduno shoot David Schwendenmann.”

The deputies did not discharge their weapons until Schwendenmann allegedly reached for, and put his hand on, a shotgun beside him, the report states.

Schwendenmann was shot three times, and was airlifted to Lawnwood Regional Medical Center in Fort Pierce where he stayed for several days. He was arrested upon his release from the hospital.

Cpl. Farless detailed how three fully-loaded shotguns were found in the Ford when she and other detectives executed a search warrant on the vehicle. One of the shotguns was also cocked and ready to be fired.

Mr. Richardson explained Schwendenmann is only charged with one count of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer because he looked directly into the eyes of Deputy Garduno.

“He made eye contact with Deputy Garduno as he picked up the shotgun,” said Mr. Richardson.

Eric Kopp is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News

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