Army veteran testifies Florida man hired him to kill wife, son

Christopher Schmidt arrested in Deltona in June


VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – An Indiana Army veteran has testified in court that he was hired by a Florida man to kill the man's wife and her 7-year-old son in Virginia.

The Virginian-Pilot reported Richard Stoner, 43, told the court Thursday how Christopher Schmidt hired him and planned the 2004 slaying of Lois Schmidt, 29, and Jonathan Vetrano.

Stoner said the two men were shooting guns in a Florida field when the 46-year-old Schmidt mentioned wanting to shoot his wife. The Schmidts were divorcing and fighting over custody of their 1-year-old daughter.

Stoner testified that he killed Lois Schmidt, her son from another marriage and a dog, and wounded her brother and then set their home on fire.

Stoner and Schmidt were arrested in Deltona in June on charges of first-degree murder and were extradited to Virginia.