William Thomas Schendel, 58, of Modesto, was convicted on Friday, Sept. 24, of second-degree murder in connection with the death of an Oakdale woman, Stanislaus County District Attorney Birgit Fladager announced on Monday.
Schendel also admitted using a deadly weapon during the commission of the murder. Deputy District Attorney Samuel Luzadas prosecuted the case.
A press release from the District Attorney's office outlined the specifics of the case.
On the morning of May 1, 2018, Aimee Crawford was found deceased in the shower of her Oakdale, California residence by her daughter. Ms. Crawford had been struck over 50 times in her head, face and other parts of her body with a metal candleholder. Ms. Crawford had also been strangled. During an autopsy, the tip of a thumb was located in her hair. It was later identified as belonging to Schendel, who Ms. Crawford had been dating at the time.
Schendel was involved in a head-on traffic collision on State Route 120 approximately 18 miles from the homicide scene after murdering Ms. Crawford. He was missing the tip of his left thumb. During several jail calls, Schendel admitted to being in an argument with Ms. Crawford and leaving the residence after getting his thumb bitten off.
Schendel will return to court on Dec. 6, 2021 when he will be sentenced to 16 years to life in state prison.