The defense attorney for Lacy Aaron Schmidt, who is charged with shooting his 14-year-old Harlem neighbor, rested her case Wednesday without calling witnesses on the third day of his murder trial.
Schmidt, 15, is charged with the Jan. 31, 2011, shooting of Alana May Calahan, 14, inside her Miles Road home.
The trial started Monday at the Columbia County courthouse in Evans. Schmidt is charged with murder, theft by taking and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.
The trial is expected to resume at 8:30 a.m. today with closing arguments.
On Wednesday, testimony was dominated by several hours of video in which Columbia County sheriff’s investigators interviewed Schmidt just hours after the shooting.
In the video, Schmidt first told investigators that he interrupted a black-clad burglar and chased him from the Calahan home.
“(His story) changed several times,” Investigator Brian Jones said from the stand. “He kept maintaining it was this man.”
Schmidt told investigators that while checking the home after running off the intruder, he found blood, an overturned chair and drag marks that he followed to nearby woods, where he found Alana’s body.
As his account evolved, investigators pressed Schmidt about details that “didn’t add up.” Eventually, he admitted that as he held the 9 mm handgun belonging to Alana’s father, it “went off” in his hand and the bullet hit Alana in the back of the neck..
“When we put the gun in his hand (during the crime), that’s when we stopped and read him Miranda (rights),” Jones said.
Schmidt said he was showing Alana, who was scared to stay home alone, how to use the gun. In an attempt to uncock it, the gun fired.
Throughout the interview, Schmidt repeated that he wouldn’t hurt Alana.
On the video, Schmidt stood to re-enact the shooting. He described her slumping forward and falling over in the chair. He said he checked and found she wasn’t breathing.
“I got scared. I was scrambling around,” Schmidt told investigators, explaining what he did after the shooting and how Alana’s body ended up in the woods. “I picked her up by her sleeves and just dragged her out.”
Though Schmidt maintained the shooting was accidental, he admitted during the interview that he lied about seeing and chasing an intruder.
The last prosecution witness was the Georgia Bureau of Investigation medical examiner, who performed an autopsy on the girl. He detailed her injuries, including an entrance wound on the back left of her neck and an exit wound at her left side of her chin and jawbone. The bullet hit two cervical vertebrae, and she had blood in her stomach and lungs.