Four months after his girlfriend requested her trial be transferred to juvenile court to face accusations that she murdered her father, Isaac Honigschmidt has learned the fate of his own trial after a judge determined he will remain in adult court to face charges, the Lincoln Journal Star reports.
Honigschmidt, 17, and his girlfriend, 15-year-old Sallie Gilmer, were arrested on Oct. 3, 2022, the same day Gilmer claimed she came home from school to find her father, 70-year-old Jessie Gilmer dead in their home, according to a Lincoln Police Department (LPD) statement from Oct. 4.
The LPD responded to a call at 4:06 p.m. that day and arrived at the home to find Sallie at the apartment, who told them she found her father deceased upon returning home, the statement says. Officers determined Jessie’s injuries were consistent with a bladed instrument.
A further investigation, however, seemed to unearth a more sinister plot hatched by the teenagers, the Journal Star reports. One neighbor told investigators that Jessie didn’t like his daughter’s boyfriend, and tried to keep them apart. A classmate’s story corroborated this by saying Honigschmidt frequently made comments about how he wanted Jessie dead.
While Honigschmidt lacks a criminal record, police were familiar with him regarding past accusations, including a 2019 threat he allegedly made against a teacher, the Journal Star says.
Lancaster County District Judge Andrew Jacobsen said back in March he would keep the case in adult court, though Honigschmidt appealed that decision, the Star says. On July 28, 2023, the Nebraska Court of Appeals ruled that Honigschmidt’s trial would remain in adult court despite his protest.
Sandy Pollack, his defense attorney, argued that the judge’s March decision wasn’t based on any evidence or facts, and disregarded factors which supported the transfer, the Star continues. The state said the evidence supported the teenager to face justice as an adult.
Police accuse Honigschmidt and Sallie of plotting Jessie’s murder a week in advance, and say Honigschmidt took her to the apartment that day with the knowledge she would murder her father, the Star says. Sallie allegedly used a knife her boyfriend gave her for protection, which she returned to him after the murder.
Afterwards, police claim Honigschmidt drove them both back to the high school they attended, the Star says. They turned on their cell phones, which they’d allegedly shut off during the murder, and went about their day. After classes concluded, Honigschmidt drove her home with the intention of her “finding” her father dead.
The July 28 hearing revealed that the teens allegedly discussed a $10,000 life insurance policy of which Sallie would be the beneficiary should Jessie die, the Star reports, and police claim Honigschmidt asked her to split it with him.
The appeals panel stated that “the evidence demonstrates that at minimum he planned and encouraged Sallie (allegedly) to commit the offense,” the Star says. His case will return to the district court.
1011Now elaborated on the order, reporting that Honigschmidt also “took steps to conceal the crime and his participation,” and failed to get medical attention for Jessie when he heard him gasping for breath.
The order also states that Honigschmidt could receive more intensive and long-term therapy and treatment in adult custody, 1011Now says. No further court dates have been set yet for him.
The LPD statement said that Honigschmidt has been charged with aiding and abetting murder in the first degree, and if convicted, could face life in prison.
As for Sallie, she awaits her next hearing in Oct. 2023 to hear whether she, too, will remain in adult court or receive a transfer to face first-degree murder charges, the Star reports.
Jessie’s obituary says that he was “a pastor, former Air Force veteran, and volunteer at Lincoln public schools” with 25 grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews. He and his wife Sherri had three other children.