Murder of soldier Layne Schmidtke by teens who stomped on his head investigated by Joe Kenda

This episode of Homicide Hunter: Lt. Joe Kenda recalls the murder of 24-year-old Army Spc. Layne Schmidtk, who was killed by a mob of teenagers whilst on his way back from a party.

Sept. 21, 1991, on the corner of Pikes Peak and Nevada Avenue in Colorado Springs and a group of teenagers began arguing with some soldiers, there was a brief fracas and then the two groups split up. Shortly after father of two Schmidtke and a friend walked down the street on their way back from partying.

The teenagers shouted for them to get off their block and then savagely beat Schmidtke, kicking and stomping on his head. He was rushed to hospital but died less than an hour later.

Luckily for detectives there were several witnesses and they identified 18-year-old football star Anthony Phenix as the most violent member of the group and the man who’d seemingly delivered the final blow to Schmidtke’s head as he lay on the ground.

Six of the teenagers were arrested and found guilty of being involved in the vicious attack. Phenix was given the longer prison term, with 20 years being his final sentence.

Phenix was denied parole in 2004 after he committed an assault while he was on a community corrections program. Interestingly he and Schmidtk’s mother began corresponding and developed a friendship of sorts with him, following his apology.

Homicide Hunter: Lt. Joe Kenda – Slaughterhouse Six airs at 1:00 PM on Investigation Discovery. 

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