Local News

$1M Bond set for murder suspect Arteaga

SPOKANE, Wash. - Bond has been set at $1 Million for Daniel Arteaga, the man arrested on a first degree murder charge for the New Years Day killing of Kim Schmidt.

Additionally, if he posts bond he has been ordered to have no contact with Kim Schmidt's family, he cannot possess any firearms, and he has to forfeit his Passport. Prosecutors asked for $1 Million to keep from running away and fleeing the country.

Arteaga was arrested when he showed up at the Public Safety Building Tuesday under the guise of answering some questions in the Schmidt murder investigation. He was booked into the Spokane County Jail on the murder charge.

Schmidt, Arteaga's former girlfriend, was found lying on her bed with a gunshot wound to the head on January 1.

Arteaga bond set vo

For the last eight months deputies suspected Schmidt's ex-boyfriend Daniel Arteaga was involved and finally had enough evidence to arrest him Tuesday.

Friends of Schmidt and Arteaga said the two dated but had troubles. They called Arteaga controlling and even accused him of abusing Schmidt during a scuba diving trip in Fiji. 

However, while Arteaga and Schmidt had a rocky but ongoing relationship, Arteaga had also been married for 21 years and was living with his own wife and daughter at a home on East Valleyway where detectives executed a search warrant following his arrest Tuesday.

Court documents revealed that a love triangle involving the father of Kim Schmidt's daughter, Schmidt herself and Arteaga may have been a possible motive in her killing.

Arteaga admitted to investigators the night before her death he and Kim looked at her text messages .She allegedly told Arteaga about her recent sexual relationship with her daughter's father and said she planned to continue it.

During questioning Arteaga told investigators he was happy to know the truth instead of just imagining what could be happening.

Later during police questioning, Arteaga admitted to leaving around 4 a.m. the next morning and that Schmidt was alive when he left.

Her body was found on her bed the next day by her mother.  She had been shot in the head.

Schmidt's family declined to comment Wednesday but issued a statement Tuesday saying that they would trust in the justice system to now bring justice for Kim.

The murder charge Arteaga is facing right now isn't the only legal trouble he's facing. He's also named in a lawsuit, along with Schmidt, for an incident that occurred when they were scuba instructors.

Two years ago Arteaga was guiding a scuba trip in the Puget Sound when one of his clients, Kimela Wyssman, nearly drowned and suffered brain damage. She's now confined to a wheelchair and needs constant care.

"She's got long-term, serious medical problems that need to be addressed. Her long-term damages are probably going to exceed 20 to 30 million dollars over the course of her life," attorney Bob Dunn.

Attorneys representing Wyssman are now happy to be able to speak with Arteaga while he in the Spokane County Jail and continue their lawsuit against him claiming he was negligent on the trip.

Dunn had been worried that Arteaga skipped town with a potential murder charge and multi-million dollar lawsuit waiting for him when he returned.

"We now know where he's at so it will be easy to find him, so we can serve him with a notice of deposition," Dunn said.

The law firm of Dunn and Black went to great lengths to find Arteaga, and the news of his arrest Tuesday was relieving to their client.

"She was glad he was found. She wants to move this case along and it was a stumbling block not to be able to identify where he was at to see his deposition," Dunn said.

Dunn said he's glad that prosecutors asked for such a high bond, meaning it will insure they will be talk with him and continue the lawsuit against him. He hopes they can speak to him within the next 60 days.

Arteaga's next court appearance is scheduled for August 21.