In what one attorney deemed “the trial of the century,” a Sunbury man will have his day in court next Monday when he faces charges of rape, aggravated sodomy, aggravated sexual battery, terroristic threats, two counts of theft by taking and kidnapping.
John Edmund Schneider (alias Philip Brown and Fritz) was arrested in February in connection with the reported attack on a Liberty County woman at her home.
Schneider maintains the woman enticed him into a relationship that lasted several months until he threatened to break it off.
In a story that reads more like a twisted plot of a Sidney Sheldon novel, Schneider contends it was the woman, along with a Liberty County sheriff’s detective and his own public defenders who have weaved a web of lies, ruining his once peaceful existence.
According to Schneider, he was living on his own in a sailboat he purchased named the Mud-Lark in the area of Sunbury. He was working on various shrimp boats and occasionally helped out at Shrimp Docks at the time of the incident.
Schneider claims the woman sent her son to visit with him and they became drinking buddies.
He contends the woman, who lived just down the road from Schneider’s boat, made the first move and, after a while, the folks within the community viewed the two as a couple.
Schneider insists it was the woman that bought him lavish gifts and seduced him to the point of calling him “her private man for hire.”
He said he opted to end the relationship after finding “a hidden collection of racy videos” and the woman demanded certain “favors” from him.
However, he said, they had one last fling before parting ways.
Schneider said the next day he was arrested for rape and aggravated sexual battery and taken to jail.
Schneider’s story has much more happening behind the scenes.
He has repeatedly sent letters to the Clerk of the County Courts requesting the lead detective be investigated for threatening him and he has requested his public defender be replaced.
Schneider also claims the detective coerced the woman to follow through with the prosecution even though he continued to see the woman immediately after the arrest through visitation. He also said they had maintained contact through the (U.S.) mail.
A letter on file in public records written by Schneider details his concerns about the detective's alleged coercion of the woman. In the letter, he states the detective threatened to make him disappear into the penal system.
His defense attorneys requested Schneider be mentally evaluated to see if he was fit to stand trial. Forensic psychiatrist found that, while he tended to have fits of rage and was abused and abused drugs for a good part of his life, Schneider knew the difference between right and wrong and was mentally competent to stand trial. But they cautioned he would probably act out in court and possibly have bouts of rage.
While incarcerated, Schneider accumulated more charges. On April 28, he was indicted for aggravated stalking for continuing to try to communicate with the woman through letters and phone calls.
On May 6, Schneider was found in possession of an unlawful weapon when he was found to have a handmade, metal shank inside the jail.
The next day he was indicted on two counts of interference with government property when he trashed his jail cell and damaged the inside roof of the transport van used to take him to court.