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Teen's murder trial expected to conclude Thursday

Officers say boy changed story

Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012 5:48 PM
Last updated Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012 4:12 AM
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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.

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Lacy Aaron Schmidt looks at a message from his attorney, Penelope Donkar, during the third day of his trial for the murder of Alana Calahan. Schmidt is charged with the shooting of his neighbor.  JIM BLAYLOCK/STAFF
JIM BLAYLOCK/STAFF
Lacy Aaron Schmidt looks at a message from his attorney, Penelope Donkar, during the third day of his trial for the murder of Alana Calahan. Schmidt is charged with the shooting of his neighbor.


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.

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wisemom
20
Points
wisemom 02/08/12 - 10:45 pm
0
0
If he was showing her how to

If he was showing her how to use the gun then why was her back to him?

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 02/09/12 - 08:00 am
0
0
As sad as this is, if someone

As sad as this is, if someone were intent on murder and determined to do it with one shot, the angle and location of the entrance wound seems inconsistent with that. And as I mentioned yesterday, no motive has been mentioned.

The defendant was changing the story alot so it's hard to account for him being behind when the shot went off, but I think in the interview he described not being able to manipulate the double-action of the weapon and apparently was fumbling around with it for quite a while. He said he went to the kitchen to get a rag and I speculate in the process of trying to get the hammer down on the pistol, it fired.

With no motive even suggested yet by the prosecutor (at least not one that has been printed in the media) I anticipate the jury only agreeing to accidental homicide.

urright
465
Points
urright 02/09/12 - 09:35 am
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0
David--your account is only

David--your account is only plausible IF you beleive his story. Wait--which story are you going to believe? He STOLE the gun. The box was at HIS house. Obvioulsy, he had the gun for a while. NONE of his stories are plausible. He murdered that poor child and I'm sure the jury will agree with that. Motive is not an element of the crime.

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 02/09/12 - 10:40 am
0
0
If you abandone the concept

If you abandone the concept of innocent until proven guilty, then absolutely. Whether it's malice or accidental is only clarified by connecting one dot to the other. A jury is directed to base a judgement on evidence, not speculation and saying the defendant did something but presenting no reason at all for doing it is asking them to speculate. I was not in the courtroom so I can't make the call either way. I think motive is relevant and if there was intent by the defendant, i hope they can convict. I'm simply pointing out that the only evidence toward that motive i suppose, is that he stole the gun. I think i remember testimony indicating that the gun was stolen 2 days before the shooting. I know there are cases stacked up where murder occurred and due to lack of motive, the defendant was not convicted. What's so different here? I suspect that it comes down to the jury putting that line from dot one to dot two, but they are going to be required to do that using more than suspicion. OR not, some juries enforce justice regardless of the surface detail, or lackthereof. Again, i hope a crime does not go unpunished as much as i hope a false conviction doesn't result.

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 02/09/12 - 11:35 am
0
0
I stand corrected. Just read

I stand corrected. Just read tweet where no motive is required as stated by judge during jury instructions. Just prove the defendant pulled the trigger and had malice intent in doing so. I tend to consider "intent" as one in the same as motive, but they are deliberating now so just waiting to see the verdict. And for the record, the closing arguement included a reason for "intent" although it was unnecessary in light of the judges instructions.

twolane
191
Points
twolane 02/09/12 - 11:52 am
0
0
this case has just gone to
Unpublished

this case has just gone to lunacy it went from accidental to now he was a victim of incest and sexual abuse....lock him up forever and be done with it

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 02/09/12 - 12:04 pm
0
0
i don't buy that type of

i don't buy that type of defense either. It comes across as grasping for straws anyway. No offense to anyone victimized that way, but in this case, I don't see where any connection was made between the defendant's actions and the alledged incest. Other than a statement of as much by the defense attorney.

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 02/09/12 - 04:32 pm
0
0
all counts. Guilty

all counts. Guilty

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