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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Man pleads guilty to domestic violence assault after choking father-in-law when his wife filed for divorce

UPDATED: Fri., March 4, 2022

A Spokane man pleaded guilty to breaking into his in-laws’ Indian Trail home using an ax and attempting to strangle his father-in-law the day his wife filed for divorce.

Carl J. Schneider, 35, pleaded guilty to domestic violence burglary and assault hours before his trial was set to begin Tuesday.

The incident occurred in June 2020, the same day Schneider’s wife filed for divorce, according to court records. The couple had been separated since 2019, according to court documents.

Spokane Police officers responded to reports of a burglary in the 5800 block of West Shawnee Avenue after a caller reported a victim was inside the house from which they had just escaped, according to an SPD statement at the time.

The caller also told police Schneider had taken an ax from their backyard and smashed it through backdoor glass to get inside the home.

When officers arrived, they found Schneider on top of the victim choking the person, according to the statement. There was blood on the walls and floor around the victim, who was lying motionless.

Police say Schneider refused commands to stop choking the victim, so police used a stun gun to subdue him. The victim’s family said he spent two days in the hospital but recovered.

The standard sentencing range is 26 to 34 months for the burglary and 12 to 14 months for the assault, according to court documents. Schneider had no prior felonies.

Per the plea agreement, prosecutors will recommended a sentence of 30 months for the burglary with alcohol and drug counseling and no contact with the victims, according to court documents. On the second count, prosecutors will recommend 14 months, court documents indicate. The sentences would be served at the same time, per Washington law.

Schneider’s sentencing is scheduled for Friday afternoon.

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to correct the day Schneider pleaded guilty.

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