Wednesday, April 26, 2017


Man admits to murdering 16-year-old Utah girl in 1977

By Pamela Manson

The Salt Lake Tribune
April 24, 2017

After waiting four decades to learn who raped and killed Sharon Lecia Schollmeyer in her Salt Lake City apartment, her loved ones wanted a quick resolution after DNA recently linked the former building manager to the crime.

They got it.

On Monday, Patrick Michael McCabe, of Bell, Fla., who was charged in the case in March, pleaded guilty in Utah's 3rd District Court to murder and aggravated burglary, both first-degree felonies. Under a deal with prosecutors, a charge of aggravated sexual assault was dropped.

The plea agreement also spares the 59-year-old McCabe the possibility of a death sentence by allowing him to enter a guilty plea to murder in the second degree, rather than murder in the first degree, a capital offense. He faces consecutive prison terms of five years to life when he is sentenced June 12 by Judge Paul Parker.

Prosecutor Matthew Janzen told the judge that Schollmeyer's family members supported ending the case with a plea deal; defense attorney Michael Sikora said his client wanted to resolve the matter quickly.

Outside court, Sally Kadleck, mother of the 16-year-old victim, who was an emancipated minor living alone in an Avenues apartment, said it was terrible not knowing for years who killed her daughter. She is grateful that police connected McCabe to the slaying.

"I'm just glad they found him," Kadleck said.

Her son, Charles Schollmeyer, and daughter, Brigett Love, said that they are thankful the case is nearing a close without lengthy court proceedings and that they are relieved McCabe agreed to plead guilty.

"He doesn't want to make us suffer any longer than we already have," Love said.

Schollmeyer's body was found Dec. 5, 1977, by Kadleck after she was let into the apartment by McCabe, the then-20-year-old building manager at 125 E. 1st Ave., according to court documents. The documents say the victim was found naked in a bathtub that was filled with 6 inches of water, blindfolded with a scarf and gagged with a halter top.

The plea agreement says McCabe, who did light maintenance at the complex in exchange for rent, had used a key to get inside Schollmeyer's apartment and commit his crime. He found the victim sleeping in her bed and raped her, then took her to the bathroom and strangled her, according to the agreement.

Last December, a national database matched DNA found on the halter top used to gag Schollmeyer to McCabe, who was in the system because of a 1999 sex offense involving a minor, court records say.

During an interview on March 1 with Salt Lake City Police Department investigators who had traveled to Florida, McCabe — who said he left Utah in February 1978 and, except for one overnight visit, never returned — allegedly confessed to raping and killing Schollmeyer. He was arrested and extradited to Utah, where he was booked into the Salt Lake County jail and held in lieu of cash-only bail of $2 million.

When asked in court by Parker what was in his mind when he entered the apartment, McCabe, who was seated in a wheelchair during Monday's hearing, replied, "To rape Ms. Schollmeyer."

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