An Indiana woman who fatally stabbed her boyfriend 39 times during a sex game has been released on parole after serving 18 years behind bars.
Anastazia Schmid, now 45, brutally stabbed boyfriend Tony Heathcote as he was blindfolded and restrained as part of a consensual sex game the couple was playing on March 4, 2001, the Lafayette Journal & Courier reports.
U.S. District Court records indicate that Schmid went into a psychotic break during the game and heard a voice telling her that her boyfriend was evil and needed to die.
Earlier this year, the U.S. District court overturned Schmid’s murder conviction after a judge ruled that she didn't receive a fair defense because her attorneys never requested a competency hearing despite the fact that she was, as subsequent testimony during the appeals process later claimed, “psychotic” and “heavily medicated” during the trail, rendering her unable to understand the proceedings, the local paper reported.
After the verdict was vacated in May, Tippecanoe County Prosecutor Patrick Harrington had 120 days to decide whether he wanted to appeal the judge’s decision or re-try the case.
Harrington opted to negotiate a deal with Schmid and her attorneys that allowed her to plead guilty Monday to voluntary manslaughter.
She received a 44-year, 299-day sentence for the new charge, but was released Tuesday morning after receiving credit for good behavior and other cuts to reduce the sentence to time served.
While in court Monday, Schmid apologized to Heathcote’s family for killing her one-time love.
“I can’t erase the pain that I brought or bring Tony’s life back,” she said, according to The Exponent. “And a million apologies can never undo the past.”
Heathcote’s family, however, questioned her remorse.
“I believe with all my soul you are a manipulator and a liar,” said Alice Heathcote, Tony Heathcote’s stepmother. “God will know the truth.”
In an opinion letter published in the Lafayette Journal & Courier, instructors who had worked with Schmid in the Indiana Women’s Prison college program wrote that she was not the same person who was convicted of the crime in 2002.
“We have the good fortune to know a far different Anastazia — a vibrant, deeply intelligent woman who is among the best-loved people at the prisons where she has lived since her trial,” wrote current and former faculty from Ball State University, DePauw University and Indiana University.
They said the model prisoner enrolled in “every program available to her” and when no others remained, she “created new ones.”
Schmid earned an associate and bachelor’s degree while behind bars and is currently enrolled in a master’s degree program to further her education. She also worked as a writing instructor, art therapist and yoga instructor to other women in the jail.
Schmid will be on probation for two years.
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