Docs: Father of murder victim was charged with taking unclothed picture of her

Posted at 1:15 PM, Aug 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-30 16:35:32-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Court documents obtained by FOX 17 News show that the father of Savon Schmus, the 16-year-old currently charged with killing his half-sister, was once charged with taking an inappropriate picture of his daughter in the shower.

Documents from a court case out of Kent County District Court outline charges that were filed against David Schmus back in 2010.

McKenna Hilton - from Facebook

McKenna Hilton – from Facebook.

David Schmus is the father of Savon Schmus; the 16-year-old boy who is currently facing charges related to the murder of his half-sister, 18-year-old McKenna Hilton.

The charges against the elder Schmus originate from September 2010, when Child Protective Services faxed a note over to the  Kentwood Police Department referencing a possible child neglect/abuse situation at the family’s home.  Police investigated and wrote in court documents that McKenna Hilton- 12 at the time- told them that David Schmus had taken a picture of her with his cell phone while she was taking a shower at their home.  Schmus reportedly told police that he did indeed take the picture, but that it was just of a shower curtain and not his daughter.  He said at the time that he had done it to embarrass the girl.

David Schmus was originally charged with one count of ‘Surveilling an Unclothed Person’ as an habitual offender because of past drug and weapons convictions.  He later took a plea agreement in which he pleaded guilty to the ‘Surveilling’ charge in exchange for his habitual offender status being dropped.


Schmus was eventually sentenced to 24 months of probation in the case.  He later violated his probation terms and received an additional sentence of 3 days in jail and community service.

Savon Schmus

Savon Schmus in court, 2016.

David Schmus’ daughter, McKenna Hilton, was found dead along a trail in Grand Rapids Township on Thursday, August 18.  She was a recent graduate of East Kentwood High School and an employee at Craig’s Cruisers.  Her 16-year-old brother, Savon Schmus, is charged with her killing and will face the charge in the coming months. Police have said the 16-year-old has alreadyadmitted to strangling the girl to death.

D Schmus Savon Letter to Judge

Note written by Savon Schmus from his father’s 2010 case file.

A letter written by Savon Schmus to the judge overseeing his father’s case at the time of the 2010 charges says his father would “give his life for us, not hurt us”.  McKenna’s mother and half-sister also wrote letters to the judge for consideration during David Schmus’ sentencing.