Jaden Churchheus pleads guilty to to involuntarily manslaughter of Victoria Schafer Ohio photographer after pushing log along w/ another teen 75 ft off cliff at Hocking Hills State Park.
‘I’m truly sorry.’ An Ohio teen on Wednesday pleaded guilty to pushing a 74-pound log off a 75 ft cliff at Hocking Hills State Park, killing a married mother of four who was struck by the timber a year ago.
Jaden W. Churchheus, 17, of Logan was one of two teens charged after the death of 44-year-old Victoria Schafer of Chillicothe in September 2019.
Schafer, who was taking photographs for high schoolers at the foot of the stairs to Old Man’s Cave below, suffered a fatal blow when the log struck her. Schafer was well-known around Chillicothe for her photography business. It was determined the well liked woman was killed instantly WBNS reports.
Investigators with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources determined that the falling log was not a natural occurrence and that her death could be a possible homicide.
A tip off led to the two teens admitting to investigators that they had done ‘something bad at the park’ after one of the boys had texted to an acquaintance.
‘I have thought about the fact that I caused someone’s death every day’
Churchheus in a deal with prosecutors pleaded guilty to involuntarily manslaughter, with murder and reckless homicide charges dropped.
A judge advised that Churchheus serve a minimum of three years in a juvenile detention facility, according to The Columbus Dispatch. Churchheus is set to be sentenced in juvenile court.
Churchheus said in court that he was ‘truly sorry.’
‘I have thought about the fact that I caused someone’s death every day since it happened,’ Churchheus said. ‘And now I will carry that for the rest of my life.’
Jordan Buckley, also 17, is due to appear in court on Sept. 25 is expected to enter a plea under a similar agreement.