Judge keeps 14-year-old jailed

Jim Blaylock/Staff
Lacy Aaron Schmidt, 14, is led into the Columbia County Courthouse. He is accused of shooting his 14-year-old neighbor, Alana Calahan, last month. A judge denied a request for bond Friday.

A Superior Court judge denied bond Friday to a Harlem teen accused of fatally shooting his neighbor and friend.

Lacy Aaron Schmidt, 14, of the 1200 block of Miles Road, must remain jailed at the Regional Youth Detention Center while awaiting trial, Judge Albert M. Pickett decided during a hearing at the Evans courthouse.

Police say Schmidt shot Alana Callahan, also 14 and of Miles Road, in the head and neck Jan. 31.

Alana's 18-year-old sister, Amanda, arrived home that day and found Schmidt's shoes by the front door, a chair knocked over in the dining room and a pool of blood on the floor, according to testimony at the hearing. Schmidt then ran inside, saying that he thought Alana's body was in the woods and that he had seen a man running away.

When the body was found, Amanda tried to resuscitate her sister with CPR while Schmidt vomited, saying that he had touched the body and that police would think he did it because of the fingerprints he left, according to testimony.

Schmidt initially told police that he found Alana's body while chasing away an intruder. He later confessed to shooting her but said it was an accident.

The Harlem Middle School eighth-grader was shot from behind as she sat at a computer in the dining room, according to police. She was dragged outside, across the backyard and into the woods.

Authorities said Alana was shot with the same type of 9 mm semiautomatic pistol owned by her father.

That gun was missing after the shooting. Deputies found it beneath a sink at Schmidt's home, a prosecutor said.

Betty Jo Calahan, Alana's mother, has said that Schmidt and her daughter were friends and that he often visited her.

"He went over there every night, just about, and ate supper," said Schmidt's sister and guardian, Dianna Chitty, as she pleaded with the judge to grant bond. "I'm begging for mercy, your honor. Please let him come home."

Pickett responded that Schmidt is "a threat" and needed to remain incarcerated.