David Hans Schmidt, 47, had been under house arrest and was looking at up to two years in jail.?? Authorities said it appeared Schmidt had committed suicide, according to an AP report. Police reportedly noted that a tracker placed on Schmidt had not moved and he was found dead by officers at his townhouse about 3pm yesterday.
Schmidt’s lawyer, Nancy Kardon, had spoken to him last week and was reportedly preparing for a hearing in federal court on October 11 where her client was to enter a guilty plea to attempted extortion. Kardon indicated Schmidt had planned to ask the court for probation.
“I was greatly saddened by his loss and I found him to be a very kind man,” Kardon was quoted as saying in an AP report.? Court documents revealed a co-defendant had obtained photos of Tom Cruise’s wedding to Katie Holmes from the official wedding photographer.
Schmidt – who was known for brokering deals involving compromising celebrity videos and photographs – had been arrested in July over his role in the alleged plot. Authorities said Schmidt had had several contacts with representatives of Tom Cruise and had allegedly threatened to release the wedding photos if he did not receive between $US1.2 million and $US1.3 million. Source