Laramie Man Charged With Murder
John Michael Schnitker of Laramie has been charged with multiple felonies in the Sept. 26 homicide of Clinton J. Gartman. The allegations include first degree murder, second degree murder, aggravated burglary, and misdemeanor battery.
According to court documents, video surveillance footage allegedly shows Schnitker entering the cab of Gartman’s red Ford pickup, which was parked on Gartman’s property, and proceeding to “sift/rifle” through the vehicle’s interior. Schnitker allegedly stated in a police interview that he was looking for money or cigarettes, and also reputedly admitted that he armed himself with a knife while inside the vehicle.
The video supposedly shows a man, later identified as Gartman, approach Schnitker while he was in the cab of the truck. Schnitker allegedly kicked Gartman in the face, knocking him backward while Schnitker exited the truck. The video reportedly shows Schnitker take a “large overhand swing” toward Gartman. Court documents say that the swing “was consistent with an overhand stabbing motion.”
Gartman was found with six stab wounds, and was pronounced dead at Ivinson Memorial Hospital. One of the wounds located on his back was later determined to be the cause of death.
Court documents say that detectives found a knife not far from Gartman’s home, “apparently shoved into the ground and with blood on it.” A black hooded sweatshirt with blood on it was allegedly recovered from the home of Schnitker’s mother.
Earlier in the day, Schnitker supposedly beat up another witness. Before leaving, he allegedly threatened the individual and talked about “taking care of” others on his “list.”
Schnitker is scheduled to appear in Albany County Circuit Court for two separate preliminary hearings next week on Wednesday, Oct. 14, and Thusday, Oct. 15.