SPOKANE, Wash. - Several weeks before his arrest on a murder charge Tuesday, Daniel Arteaga sued the mother of homicide victim Kim Schmidt to get back his guitar, pork and beans and guns.
Arteaga was arrested Tuesday for the New Years Day killing of Kim Schmidt and booked into the Spokane County Jail on a single charge of first-degree murder. On July 25 he filed a suit against Schmidt's mother, Toni Schmidt, who took over as administrator of her daughter's estate after her murder.
According to the suit, Arteaga and Schmidt had been living together prior to her killing and he filed suit against Toni Schmidt to get back his personal possessions. Schmidt, however, claimed that Arteaga had not been living in the house.
Arteaga said in the suit that he and Schmidt had maintained both a professional as well as a personal relationship and he had stored a great deal of his personal property at her home.
His lawsuit goes on to say that Toni, since her daughter's death, has "insisted that DANIEL was somehow responsible for the death of KIMBERLY" and he has been excluded from her residence. The suit also claims that once Toni Schmidt was made administrator of Kim's estate on January 27, she has been removing and disposing of property owned by Arteaga.
When Arteaga first filed his claim against Schmidt on June 15, Toni Schmidt rejected his claims by responding on July 25 that all he was entitled to was two electrical cords, a bag full of mail, a Megalondon shark tooth, dog tags and a pack of Jeremy Bonderman baseball cards.
Arteaga, however, claimed he had quite a bit more personal property stored in the home, including an Armalite AR-10, an Olympic AR-15, an AK-47, three SKS rifles, several Browning and Mossberg shotguns and several smaller rifles, including, two AR-7 survival rifles and three Ruger 10/22 rifles.
But the list didn't end there.
He also claimed that in the house there were seven pistols, a variety of gun bags, gun parts and accessories; a bulletproof vest; and 34 separate boxes and ammo cans full of rifle and pistol ammunition. In all, he claimed Toni had 18 rifles, four shotguns and seven pistols at the home that belonged to him.
There were boxes of CDs, DVDs and personal effects, scuba gear and then there was the survival food: cases of Van Camp's pork and beans; Campbell's chicken soup; freeze dried food; cases of water bottles and Gatorade; and boxes of individual packets of hot chocolate, coffee and instant oatmeal.
After asking for everything from guns to scuba gear to a shop vac; power tools and a Fender guitar autographed by Tim McGraw, Faith Hill and Kenny Chesney, Arteaga rounded out his list of stuff he wanted from the home with a pair of running shoes.
According to court documents Toni Schmidt denied having most of the items on the list, including all of the guns.
While Arteaga asked for nearly rifles, pistols and shotguns to be returned to him from the residence he shared with Kim, there's one gun not on his list: The .25 caliber pistol that was found next to her body which family members confirmed Tuesday was owned by Arteaga.
A status conference for the suit has been set for October 26. It's not clear if the suit will be affected by Arteaga's arrest Tuesday for Kim Schmidt's murder.
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