The trial for one of two men accused of killing Julius Schnoll, a Farmington Hills supermarket supervisor execution-style 30 years ago, is under way. William Hess’ attorney and the prosecutor gave their opening statements in an Oakland County Circuit Court Thursday morning. Hess and a second suspect, Darrell Kastel, are charged with first-degree premeditated murder and felony murder.
Prosecutor Greg Townsend said Thursday that the two men killed 62-year-old Julius Schnoll on Jan. 27, 1979, during a botched robbery at the Great Scott supermarket at 10 Mile and Orchard Lake roads. Police said on the day of the killing, Hess, who is now 50, and Kastel, who is now 54, both from Highland Park, climbed in through the store’s air-conditioning duct early in the morning, herded the four night-shift workers into the break room and hog-tied them with dog leashes and cellophane.
Schnoll, who was a night manager and traveled between two stores, was ordered to open the safe, but Schnoll didn’t know the combination because only the day manager had that information. When the robbers realized Schnoll couldn’t open the safe, he was shot in the head inside of the break room in front of the rest of the employees.