Woman unable to prove attorney actions were prejudicial

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A woman’s petition for post-conviction relief on the grounds her trial counsel was ineffective was denied by the Indiana Court of Appeals.

Anastazia Schmid was told on March 2, 2001, that her boyfriend, Tony Heathcote, allegedly had molested her daughter from a prior marriage. While Schmid and Heathcote were having sexual relations on March 4, 2001, Heathcote suggested that Schmid play the part of the little girl and he would play the part of the daddy. This statement caused Schmid to think of her daughter. She then got a knife and began stabbing Heathcote who was blindfolded and restrained at the ankles. He was stabbed 39 times and died. Later, Schmid indicated that at the time of the stabbing she had heard a voice telling her that she was the messiah and Heathcote was evil and needed to be eliminated.

Following a jury trial, Schmid was convicted with verdicts of guilty but mentally ill. She then appealed her convictions of Class C felony battery by means of a deadly weapon, Class C felony criminal recklessness by means of a deadly weapon, Class B felony aggravated battery, Class C felony battery resulting in serious injury, murder, and two counts of Class D felony criminal recklessness.

On Feb. 7, 2005, Schmid filed a pro se petition for post-conviction relief. She amended the petition five years later. The post-conviction court denied her petition on Aug. 18, 2011.

“All the arguments Schmid raises in this appeal assert her trial attorneys were ineffective,” Judge Melissa May wrote for the majority. The court reviewed her claim under the two-part test announced in Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 687 (1984). To prevail, she must show counsel’s performance fell below an objective level of reasonableness based on prevailing norms and that deficient performance resulted in prejudice.

Schmid argued that her attorneys should have raised the “justified reasonable force” defense; that her attorneys should have asked for another competency hearing after she was found competent to stand trial; that her attorneys did not communicate a plea offer; and that her attorneys denied her the right to testify in her own defense at trial.

The COA found that Schmid did not demonstrate counsels’ alleged errors were prejudicial and affirmed the denial of her petition for post-conviction relief.


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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.