.

Felon Who Beat Homeless Man to Death in Lakeland Village Going Away for a Long Time

Jason Lee Schmidt, 37, was convicted March 17 of second-degree murder with a sentence-enhancing weapon allegation in the 2012 slaying of 58-year-old Leopoldo Navarrete.

Jason Lee Schmidt's jail booking photo.
Jason Lee Schmidt's jail booking photo.

An ex-con who beat a homeless man to death at a Lake Elsinore-area transient camp was sentenced Friday to 31 years to life in prison.

Jason Lee Schmidt, 37, was convicted March 17 of second-degree murder with a sentence-enhancing weapon allegation in the 2012 slaying of 58-year-old Leopoldo Navarrete.

Riverside County Superior Court Judge Michael Rushton imposed the sentence required by law, factoring in the defendant's prior felony strikes.

According to sheriff's investigators, the defendant and Navarrete were loosely associated through encounters at a homeless camp known as the "Olive Groves," off of Adelfa Street and Grand Avenue in the community of Lakeland Village.

Schmidt admitted fatally beating Navarrete with a rock, telling detectives that he flew into a rage when the victim disclosed that he'd molested a grandchild. Navarrete's relatives vehemently denied that he ever had inappropriate contact with a juvenile family member.

Deputy District Attorney Burke Strunsky wrote in a trial brief that Schmidt told a fellow cell mate that the killing was "spur of the moment" and regrettable.

No one witnessed the June 14, 2012, attack, though several itinerants told authorities they encountered Schmidt in an agitated state that night, making self-incriminating statements, such as "first kill of the year."

Navarrete was reported missing within a day of his disappearance. A month later, a man walking in the area of Akley and Gillette streets -- about two blocks from the homeless encampment -- stumbled upon Navarrete's remains.

Based on video surveillance tape from a store where Navarrete and Schmidt were seen around the same time, as well as statements from witnesses, investigators on Aug. 20, 2012, served an arrest warrant on Schmidt, who was staying at a group home in the 22000 block of Herbert Street in Good Hope.

According to sheriff's officials, the defendant took off running but was quickly apprehended.

Schmidt has multiple prior felony convictions, including for drug- dealing, burglary and attempted burglary.

 

— City News Service. 



KELLY D. DIVINE June 22, 2014 at 07:47 PM
SD, I HAVE TO ENLIGHTEN YOU ABOUT THE TYPE OF PEOPLE LIVING/SQUATTING AT THE GROVES HONELESS CAMP ON GRAND AVE., NEAR AKLEY. I AM NOT SAYING ALL THE PEOPLE OUT THERE ARE BAD EGGS, HOWEVER IN JUST THE LAST COUPLE OF MONTHS THE PATCH HAS PRINTED ARTICLES ABOUT RESIDENTS OF THE GROVES HOMELESS CAMP I WANT TO POINT OUT THAT OTHER PEOPLE IN THE GROVES CAMP HEARD THE VICTIM BEING BEAT, YET THEY DID NOTHING TO ALERT LAW ENFORCEMENT THE ATTACK WAS HAPPENING( THERE IS AN ABUNDANCE OF CELL PHONES THEY COULD HAVE USED TOO. THE BEATING TOOK PLACE AT NIGHT, MAKING THE AREA REALLY QUIET, SO PEOPLE HEARD IT, AS A MATTER OF FACT, SOME OF THEM ADMITTED THEY HEARD THE ASSAULT...STILL THEY DID NOTHING. YOU SAID ONE PERSON RUINS IT FOR OTHERS...RUINS WHAT? SQUATTING ILLEGALLY ON LAND YOU DONT OWN AND TROLLING THE NIEGHBORHOOD FOR THINGS TO STEAL. OR RUIN BEING ABLE TO TO BULLY PEOPLE BY TORMENTING, STALKING AND HARRASSING AND STEALING FROM PEOPLE THAT ARE VUNERABLE. ELDERLY, DISABLED PEOPLE, DISABLED VETERANS. SINGLE WOMAN. THE DISABLED VETERANS I KNOW HAVE BRAIN INJURIES AND EACH ONE OF THEM HAD TO GET AUTHORITIES HELP TO MAKE THOSE PEOPLE LEAVE THEM ALONE. THEY STOLED THEIR MEDICATION, MADE THEM USE THEIR ATM, STOLED THINGS RIGHT INFRONT OF THEM AND ONE OF THE IDIOTS STOLED SOMETHING FROM ONE VETERAN AND TOLD THE VET "IT'S MINE NOW." THE VETERAN STARTED CRYING WHEN HE WAS TELLING ME. I CRIED TOO. OUR VETERANS COULDNT DEFEND THEMSELVES AGAINST THESE CREEPS BECAUSE THEY BECAME DISABLED PROTECTING US WHILE SERVING OUR COUNTRY. REALLY? WHO DOES THAT? I'LL TELL YOU WHO. PUNK ASS BITCHES, THAT'S WHO. HORRIBLE ,DISGUSTING, LOSER PARASITES . I MET THE NICEST 85 YEAR OLD WOMAN THAT HAD TO SLEEP WITH A SHOT GUN IN HER LAP BECAUSE THEY WERE ALWAYS AT HER WINDOW, SHE COULDNT EVEN SLEEP IN HER OWN BED, SHE HAD TO SIT IN A RECLINER TO PROTECT HER HOME AND HERSELF. THAT WAS HOW SHE LIVED THE LAST FOUR THREE YEARS OF HER LIFE. SHE WAS THE PERSON THAT EDUCATED ME ABOUT THE WHISTLING THEY USE TO COMMUNICATE. I HAD HEARD THE WHISTLING AND ALWAYS WONDERED WHY BIRDS WERE OUT AT NIGHT. SHE WAS TOUGH COOKIE... R.I.P. MARY JANE. I KNOW ATLEAST 2 PEOPLE DISABLED PEOPLE, 2 IN WHEELCHAIRS THAT WERE CONSTANTLY GETTING PICK ON AND ROBBED. SD I HOPE LIVING IN DENIAL IS WORKING FOR YOU, BECAUSE YOU MIGHT BE WAY TOO FRAGILE TO HEAR THE REALITY OF THE WAY THOSE PEOPLE CHOOSE TO LIVE. IM SURE ALOT OF HARD WORKING,TAX PAYING,MORAL PEOPLE LIVE IN THE GROVES HOMELESS CAMP...IM LYING. WHO LIVES IN A PLACE WHERE POOPING IN THE WOODS IS THE NORM? IM NOT TALKING ABOUT CAMPING FOR A FEW NIGHTS, SOME HAVE LIVED THERE FOR YEARS. THERE ARE NO FACILITIES EXCEPT ONE ILLEGALLY MADE SHOWER RUNNING ON WATER THAT THEY STEAL. FORGET THE LAST PART OF WHAT IM TELLING YOU ABOUT THE THIEFT AND FOCUS ON 100-150 PEOPLE WITH ONLY ONE SHOWER. I FOUND OUT THEY USE SHOWERS AT HOMES THEY ROB. I FOUND A BAR OF IRISH SPRING SOAP IN MY BATHTUB, I HATE IRISH SPRING , SO I KNOW IT WASNT MINE. THERE IS NO TRASH SERVICE EITHER. I GET MY ANIMALS TREATED FOR FLEES BECAUSE DIRT HAS FLEES. I DONT THINK THE DIRT THEIR LAYING ON IS EXEMPT FROM FLEES, DO YOU? I DONT THINK LIVING IN TREES IS HOW A GOOD EGG LIVES, SOME OF THEM LIVE IN TREE SORRY SD, I HATE TO BREAK THIS TO YOU, BUT IT IS A SAFE BET TO SAY THERE IS MORE THAN ONE BAD EGG AMONG THAT CROWD. IM GOING TO THROW THIS OUT THERE, THIS IS JUST MY OPINION, BUT I THINK THERE MIGHT BE A FEW PEOPLE OF QUESTIONABLE CHARACTER SQUATTING AT THE GROVES HOMELESS CAMP IN RIV.CO.
Steve M June 22, 2014 at 07:55 PM
Should someone like Byron Smith clean the place up since the courts can't? But they're human beings, they need to be cared for.
SD June 23, 2014 at 12:46 AM
this is an incredible situation Kelly. i.m wondering if the police patrol the camp. i feel for the nearby residents
John McClain June 23, 2014 at 12:52 AM
What a scary part of town.
Steve M June 23, 2014 at 02:52 AM
Liking walking dead.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »