Clark County, WA – A Camas man accused in the shooting death of his neighbor has made his first appearance in Clark County Superior Court. Chad Holmes was last seen February 5th when he and Randy Schmidt drove off in Schmidt’s SUV. Court documents show Randy Schmidt told a detective the shooting was an accident and he did not intend to kill Holmes.
He claimed Holmes was shot during an altercation in Schmidt’s SUV and Schmidt’s shotgun on the floor accidentally went off during the struggle. He says he panicked and moved Holmes’ body to the Washougal River and later drove the SUV into the Lewis River after he knew law enforcement was looking for it. The SUV was recovered last month and Holmes’ body was discovered in the Washougal River by kayakers last weekend. The Clark County Sheriff’s Office says metal fragments were found in his skull, likely from bullet projectiles.
Court documents show Schmidt said he drove the SUV to a property in Ridgefield and parked it there. Then, he said he sold it to someone a day or two later, but claimed he didn’t have paperwork. The SUV was found in the Lewis River not far from where he claimed to have sold it. Court documents say detectives found what looked like blood stains in the front passenger seat. Lab tests confirmed the stains contained blood and DNA that matched DNA from a piece of Holmes’ clothing.
Bail has been set at $750,000. Next court appearance is 9 a.m. on April 18th.