Pasadena Family Feud Heads To The Courtroom

It may never rise to the mythic stature of the Hatfield-McCoy family feud, but the Schmidt and Hinson families of Pasadena are doing their best to keep alive their long-standing neighborly donnybrook, which a month ago cost one woman her life.

Before things turned deadly late 2009, the two families, who lived next door to each other along the 4900 block of Bland Street near Galveston Bay, had been at war for months, and police have said that officers frequently made runs over to their homes to calm things down. The Pasadena Citizen reported that one of the Schmidts may have even called Texas Child Protective Services on the Hinsons and their three children in the days leading up to the violence.

Then on December 19, police say, patriarchs Karl Schmidt and Thomas Hinson got into an argument during which Schmidt went and got his shotgun and leaned it up on his front porch. Schmidt, however, has said he didn't feel the need to use it, as it was only another round of verbal sparring with his neighbor.

Apparently, his wife, Tanya Schmidt, did not feel the same way.

Police say that the woman grabbed the shotgun off the porch and started firing at Thomas Hinson. But her aim, evidently, wasn't that sharp. Schmidt shot and killed Hinson's wife, Laura, police say, and also hit Thomas Hinson as well as her own husband. Tanya Schmidt has said that she feared for her life when she shot at Hinson because he had made death threats to her and her husband in the past. Police charged her with murder; the trial is pending.

While a Schmidt may have thrown a fatal punch, it was not the final blow. Thomas Hinson has now fired another shot, this time in Harris County district court. He is suing the Schmidts for personal injuries and negligence.

"Mr. Hinson has had surgery after being shot," says his attorney, Scott Lannie, "but a pellet severed a nerve in his right arm and there is significant damage. We've also filed a claim against the husband because he's the one who introduced the gun to the argument."

Oh, in addition:

Hison's lawyer tells Hair Balls that the Schmidt house is on sale, ready for someone to move in next door to the Hinsons. Anyone want the real estate agent's number?

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