Jarrett Jones murder trial testimony from worker, police Thursday

While Jon Schumacher was making verbal threats before he was shot in the early morning hours of Jan. 2, 2020, one man who was in the room at the time said he did not feel threatened.

That was part of the testimony from Nathan Milstead on Thursday during the second day of testimony in the murder trial of Jarrett Jones, 50, of Bath.

Milstead worked for Jones at the time and lived in Jones’ shop at Bath.

Schumacher, 28, died after being shot twice in the shop/home belonging to Jones, who has been charged with murder.

Milstead said he received a call from Makayla Jones around 10:34 pm Jan. 1 during which she said she and Schumacher were fighting. Makayla Jones is Jarrett Jones’ daughter who was in a relationship with Schumacher.

More:Jarrett Jones murder trial opens as attorneys agree Jon Schumacher didn’t need to die

Milstead then made a call to the Edmunds County Sheriff’s Office to report that Schumacher was possibly drinking and driving. Schumacher, Makayla Jones and Schumacher’s three sons lived in Mina.

Milstead said he also spoke with Schumacher after Schumacher was arrested for drunken driving and subsequently released from custody. Schumacher was looking for Makayla Jones, Milstead said. He said he told Schumacher that Makayla Jones was at her father’s and not to make the trip to Bath.

Video from inside the shop was played again, showing Milstead walking back and forth several times between the doorway where Jarrett Jones and Schumacher were talking and the other side of the shop.

While Schumacher was making verbal threats, Milstead said he didn’t feel threatened. And, he tested, he did not see any pushing or shoving between Jarrett Jones and Schumacher.

More:Jury selection begins Monday for Jones murder trial in which self-defense could be argued

The video shows Milstead standing near the two other men and quickly walking away after a shot was fired. Milstead said he did not see Schumacher move toward Jones before being shot.

During the 20 minutes before first responders arrived, while Milstead was on the phone with a 911 operator, no one approached Schumacher in the videos shown at trial. At one point during the call, which was played for the jury, Milstead told the 911 operator he could see Schumacher’s hand moving.

Milstead initially reported that Schumacher had broken into the shop during the 911 call. That was soon corrected by Jarrett Jones during the 911 call.

Milstead admitted that he initially told law enforcement that Schumacher lunged and charged at Jarrett Jones before he was shot. But, Milstead testified Thursday, he did not see that happen, rather those details were relayed to him by Jarrett Jones.

Testimony heard on forensic analysis, autopsy

Forensic pathologist Dr. Kenneth Snell tested his findings in the autopsy, which showed Schumacher was shot once in the chest and once in the neck.

Snell said the chest exit wound was about 2 inches lower than the entrance wound. Later, he tested that would be consistent with a scenario in which someone’s chest is tipped forward slightly, perhaps about 2 to 4 inches.

Although his findings support the fact that Schumacher’s chest was leaning forward, Snell said he could not tell if Schumacher’s body was in motion.

Snell also said the first shot to the chest, which punctured Schumacher’s lung, was the fatal shot and would have required immediate medical for him to survive.

Frans Maritz, forensic scientist with the South Dakota Forensic Science Lab, tested about his analysis of the handgun recovered from Jarrett Jones’ home. Maritz said the analysis did not specifically match the gun used with the two 9-millimeter cartridge casings found. But, he said, the characteristics and markings on the casings were consistent with the gun, which means he couldn’t exclude the Kimber Micro 9 pistol as the gun used.

Aberdeen first responder, officers testify

Thursday also included testimony from Aberdeen Police Department Sgt. Brady Berg and Aberdeen Fire & Rescue paramedic Stewart Donaldson.

Both Berg and Donaldson tested about life-saving measures taken after they arrived at 1:57 am, 20 minutes after 911 was notified that Schumacher had been shot.

Berg said he did an initial assessment and started CPR until paramedics arrived soon after. Donaldson said that’s when paramedics took over, hooking Schumacher up to equipment to check for cardiac activity and getting IVs started. CPR continued until 2:19 am after consultation with the attending physician at Avera St. Luke’s Hospital.

Berg testified that as he was cutting away Schumacher’s shirt and beginning CPR, Jarrett Jones told him, “You’re wasting your time.” Berg said that’s when Jones said Schumacher had been shot twice in the chest.

More:Jarrett Jones claims immunity for 2020 murder in Aberdeen under new South Dakota law

After paramedics took over, Berg said, he searched Schumacher for identification. Berg said found a pocket knife in Schumacher’s pants that was sealed in a police evidence bag.

While the knife was described by Berg as a standard pocket knife. Defense Attorney Bill Gerdes asked if Berg was aware of a particular style of knife with the blade that “shoots out.” Berg said he did not manipulate the knife when he found it.

Additional law enforcement testimony came from Aberdeen police officer Braxton Farmen, who said that he noticed a gun on a table in the shop with the clip off to the side. After verifying it was the gun used to shoot Schumacher, Farmen said he secured the gun in his vehicle and later turned it over to Brown County Deputy Linda Markuson, who also testified about taking the gun into custody.

Schumacher got a ride to Bath after release from jail

During Wednesday’s testimony, Schumacher’s ex-wife said she picked him up from the Brown County Jail after his drunken driving arrest and took him to Bath. She said she tried to talk him out of making the trip, but he insisted and wanted to get his coat that was in Jarrett Jones’ pickup, which Schumacher was driving when he was arrested.

Jarrett Jones eventually retrieved his pickup. He found guns in the pickup, which were collected and put away, Brown County State’s Attorney Ernest Thompson said in court Wednesday during opening statements.

Makayla Jones testified that there were no guns in the pickup when she stopped to help Schumacher after he got stuck around 10 pm Jan 1. But when her father retrieved the pickup, she said, there was an AR15 rifle and a handgun in the vehicle .

Makayla Jones and Schumacher got into a fight that night and she told Schumacher the relationship was over, she testified Wednesday. Schumacher, she said, threatened to kill her and his three boys.

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