The testimony of Southwestern Regional Police officer Michael Matthews evoked grim images as he recalled the afternoon of March 31, 2010, when he found 55-year-old Monica Schmeyer dead in her Manheim Township home.
There had been an incomplete call to York County 911, and he drove to her secluded home in the woods to inspect. The front door was open, but nobody came when he called. The house was silent except for the barking of a dog from somewhere inside. He stepped in and looked to the right. Seeing the feet of a motionless woman, he drew his gun and approached.
She had no pulse and lay in a pool of blood on the living room floor, bleeding from a gunshot wound to the head. The base of the phone sat on a nearby book shelf; the receiver dangling from a call she never finished. There were bloody prints on the 9 and the 1, according to later testimony from York County Detective Doug Demangone.
The homicide was more than two years ago; the charges filed against the man police said pulled the trigger were forwarded to Common Pleas Court after a hearing Monday.
District Judge Thomas Reilly said the state presented enough evidence for 39-year-old Timothy Matthew Jacoby to face trial on charges of homicide, burglary, receiving stolen property, illegal possession of a firearm by a felon and tampering with evidence. He's being held in York County Prison without bail.
The investigation: Matthews testified there was no sign of forced entry, and nothing appeared to be missing or out of place when he responded to the home in March 2010.
But Southwestern Regional Police Sgt. Lisa Layden said a story started to form after officers canvassed the neighborhood and witnesses spoke. Jacoby's name has since risen to the top, and he was arrested late last month.
Jacoby was friends with the victim's ex-husband, 57-year-old Dr. Jon D. Schmeyer, an ophthalmologist formerly of Hanover and now of Williamsburg, Va., documents state.
Demangone said the two men were members of the "Orange Shorts Society," a group of people who gathered regularly for "discussion" at a Hooter's restaurant in York. Video surveillance shows Schmeyer was at the restaurant with Jacoby's former fiancée, Sara Powell, at the time of the shooting, but Jacoby was absent, the detective said.
Layden testified that neighbors reported seeing a man who fits Jacoby's description walk to and from a gray van parked along the road near Monica Schmeyer's house that afternoon. She said records from Jacoby's employer, Armstrong Industries, showed he had driven one of the company's gray work vans that day.
Surveillance video from a People's Bank in Jefferson shows t he vehicle driving past near the time of the murder, she said.
The gun: Demangone said Jacoby is tied to the scene because the woman was killed with a .32-caliber bullet, fired from a .32-caliber semi-automatic gun, possibly a Kel-Tec.
Investigators found and seized .32-caliber Kel-Tec gun barrels from Jacoby's former home on West Princess Street and from his parents' home in North Codorus Township, but a gun was never recovered, Demangone said.
State police ballistics experts determined a spent shell casing found at the scene of the homicide was fired from the same barrel as spent .32-caliber shell casings recovered by police from the home of Jacoby's parents, he said.
The interior of one of the barrels had been filed, which is the basis for the evidence-tampering charge.
Jacoby's criminal history includes a 2006 felony robbery conviction for a Springettsbury Township incident, police said. Because he's a convicted felon, he is prohibited from possessing firearms.
The defense: Jacoby's defense attorney, Brian Perry, repeatedly said Monday the state is theorizing the doctor hired Jacoby to commit the shooting.
He asked Demangone whether there had been a large amount of money, a "here's $50 grand for killing my wife" deposit into Jacoby's bank account. The detective said there had not been, but the doctor had spoken with Jacoby about 90 minutes before the murder.
District Attorney Tom Kearney said Jon Schmeyer would have been arrested if murder-for-hire were the state's theory and prosecutors had "the evidence to back it up."
He said the couple had been divorced for about three years and, under the divorce agreement, the ex-husband was legally obligated to financially support his ex-wife.
Kearney said Jacoby had likely just intended to steal from Monica Schmeyer.
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