On May 1, 2018, 40-year-old Aimee Crawford was found dead in the shower of her Oakdale home by her daughter. Crawford was reportedly hit more than 50 times in her head, face, and other parts of her body with a metal candleholder, according to the District Attorney’s Office. She was also reportedly strangled.
The District Attorney’s statement says the tip of Schendel’s thumb was discovered in Crawford’s hair during her autopsy. While fleeing the scene, Schendel reportedly got into a head-on traffic collision 18 miles from Crawford’s home on State Route 120. Schendel confessed during jail calls that he and Crawford were dating and got into an argument that led to him getting his thumb bitten off.
The Modesto Bee reports that Schendel was initially charged with first-degree murder, which has a sentence of 25 years to life in prison. On Friday, as part of the plea agreement, he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.
Schendel is scheduled to appear in court again on Dec. 6, 2021. He will be sentenced to 16 years to life in state prison.