After four days of testimony and four hours of deliberation, a jury convicted Lacy Aaron Schmidt on Feb. 10 of murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.
Authorities say he shot his neighbor and friend Alana May Calahan on Jan. 31, 2011, inside her Miles Road home.
Schmidt could receive 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 conviction awaiting sentencing.