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A man charged with murder in Indiana for the killing of his ex-girlfriend inside her own home on Christmas morning has reportedly agreed to plead guilty to burglary in a plea deal that has outraged the victim’s family and friends.
Zacharia Schmidt, 35, will serve 10 years behind bars and three years of home detention, Fox Indianapolis affiliate WXIN reported. He faced a murder charge in the Christmas Day killing of Tiffiny Allen, 40.
Allen’s mother, Julie Allen Witt, told the station she feels like she’s reliving her daughter’s death.
“Burglary doesn’t have anything to do with the murder,” she said. “He didn’t steal anything but her life.”
The victim’s daughter Hayleigh Mitchell was baffled.
“I’m just frustrated because it doesn’t make sense,” said the victim’s oldest daughter.
Neither the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office nor Schmidt’s public defender responded to requests for comment from Law&Crime.
Allen was killed early Christmas morning in 2020 in her home in the 2700 block of South Hunter Road in Indianapolis.
Schmidt and his sister, Chelsea, were arrested for the killing on Jan. 24, 2021. Chelsea Schmidt later pleaded guilty to assisting a criminal commit murder and was placed on probation, the station reported.
WXIN cited an affidavit indicating Zacharia Schmidt left the murder scene but returned hours later covered in the victim’s blood. The murder weapon was found wiped free of prints, the station reported.
Allen’s obituary said the mother of two and grandmother of one owned a housekeeping business for over 20 years.
“She was a free spirit who had a unique, bubbly and loud personality,” the obituary read. “She was very thrifty, creative and crafty. She was known to be able to turn ‘trash into treasure.’”
On Facebook, Allen’s friend Nickie Weddle said the case was mishandled from the start.
“I’m hurt my bestie is gone but even more hurt to see her girls and mom relive a nightmare and never get justice,” she wrote. “If you have children of your own, try and put yourself in their shoes. Their mom is gone and nobody has been held accountable at all.”
Mendy Mcqueen wrote on Facebook that Allen’s life mattered.
“How many others has the system failed,” she wrote, saying laws need to be changed and suggesting the community come together “and fight all the injustice!”
Schmidt is set to be sentenced on Oct. 6, online court records show.
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