Harlem teen gets life without parole in friend's slaying

A Harlem 15-year-old convicted of murder last month for shooting his 14-year-old friend will spend the rest of his life in prison.


Superior Court Judge Michael Annis on Friday sentenced Lacy Aaron Schmidt to life in prison without parole. On Feb. 10, Schmidt had been convicted of murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.

The teenager shot his neighbor and friend Alana May Calahan on Jan. 31, 2011, in her Miles Road home. Annis called Schmidt “emotionless and remorseless” during the trial before handing down the stiffest sentence possible.

Schmidt could have received a sentence of life with or without the possibility of parole for the murder conviction. The possession charge carries a five-year sentence, to run consecutive to any other sentence.

He initially claimed he saw an intruder on the property. Eventually, Schmidt told authorities he accidentally fired a gun belonging to Alana’s father in her family’s dining room.

Schmidt’s attorney, Penelope Donkar, contended at the trial that he “lost it” and that the shooting was a tragic accident.

Sheriff’s deputies found the gun in nearby woods. They also found the gun case, ammunition and a camera belonging to the Calahans inside Schmidt’s house.

He was indicted in March 2011 on charges of murder, theft and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime. He pleaded not guilty in May.

Schmidt has been held in the Columbia County Detention Center since the convictions.

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