Court documents have long suggested prosecutors believed Schmelzer committed the crime to tap into money from his grandmothers $800,000 estate, of which he was a benefactor. During a Wednesday hearing, Assistant States Attorney Bill Engerman offered Abrahamson some details as to how prosecutors believe Schmelzers finances served as a motive. Engerman described Schmelzers financial arrangements with two women – one in Texas, a second in Las Vegas, who he alternately described as prostitutes or escorts. Schmelzer also had taken $22,500 in cash advances on one of Darringtons credit cards over the course of six months in 2013 and 2014.
Engerman noted that Schmelzer, who controlled the family finances, and his wife were gainfully employed. They supported their four kids, and could pay a nanny and the $600-per-month payment on his car. Yet, Schmelzer asked family members for loans at various times and failed to make mortgage payments for several months, leading the family home to go into foreclosure, Engerman said, previewing some of Schmelzers now-ex-wifes expected testimony.