Harlem teen's murder trial starts today in Evans

The case against Lacy Aaron Schmidt, 15, of Harlem, seen at his bond hearing in February 2011, will go to trial Monday, Feb. 6.

The trial of a 15-year-old Harlem boy accused of killing his friend will begin Monday in Columbia County.

 

Lacy Aaron Schmidt, of Miles Road, is accused of shooting 14-year-old Alana May Calahan, a friend and neighbor, inside her home on Jan. 31, 2011.

In March, a grand jury indicted Schmidt on charges of murder, theft by taking and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.

Alana’s family declined to comment on the case until after the trial.

Authorities allege that Schmidt, 14 at the time, shot the Harlem Middle School eighth-grader as she sat at a computer inside her family dining room. Alana was dragged outside, where Schmidt initially claimed he saw an intruder on the property.

After changing his story several times, Schmidt eventually said he was fumbling with the 9 mm handgun belonging to Alana’s father when it went off, striking Alana as she sat at the computer in the dining room.

Schmidt was arrested later that night.

Deputies found the gun in nearby woods. They also found the gun case and a box of ammunition under a bathroom sink off Schmidt’s bedroom at his home.

The gun’s owner’s manual was found in his dresser drawer, and several items from the Calahan home, including a digital camera and MP3 player, were found in his bedroom.

Schmidt pleaded not guilty to the charges in May.

His trial is scheduled to begin less than a week after the anniversary of Alana’s death.

The case has attracted national media attention. CNN’s In Session will provide pooled coverage to many local media outlets.

“Each case has to navigate the waters of the court process in its own time,” District Attorney Ashley Wright said. “The issues and the evidence dictate the amount of pretrial time needed.”

Assistant District Attorney Natalie Paine will prosecute the case.

Schmidt is being held in the Regional Youth Detention Center without bond while awaiting trial.

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