UPDATE: Jury finds teen guilty on all charges in Alana Calahan m - WFXG FOX 54 - News Now

UPDATE: Jury finds teen guilty on all charges in Alana Calahan murder

Lacy Aaron Schmidt Lacy Aaron Schmidt
Lacy Aaron Schmidt Lacy Aaron Schmidt

The fate of 15-year-old Lacy Aaron Schmidt is decided. After hours of deliberations Schmidt was found guilty on all four charges he was faced with.

Public Defender, Penelope Donkar, began her appeal to the jury today asking them to view the murder of 14-year-old Alana Calahan as an accident.

But Natalie Paine, the Assistant District Attorney said the murder was no accident.

"A cold, malignant heart watched Alana slump over, and watched her gush blood and talked so callously about hearing her moan," said Paine.

But Donkar insisted Schmidt accidentally pulled the trigger, "The state is going to try to prove to you that he was a cold blooded killer, is him being a kid, him being traumatized, scared, abused kid."

"This man is guilty of every single charge," said Paine.

"This is not a cold blooded murderer, this is an accident," said Donkar.

But after four hours of deliberation the jury decided otherwise.

Schmidt was found guilty on all counts: murder with malice, felony murder, possession of a firearm and theft by taking.

He stood - head hanging low as each of the charges were read in the Columbia County Courthouse.

But deciding the fate of this 15-year-old wasn't easy for the jurors.

One juror said through tears, "This was all very hard."

But jurors we spoke to say there was very little evidence to suggest Schmidt was anything but guilty. 

"After he shot her and she was gasping and coughing up blood, he didn't try to save her, instead he dragged her like a piece of trash, so that was the biggest thing for me," said another juror.

These jurors also say they still have questions because of the way the defense handled their case.

"Celeste made the point that she wished she could have asked questions because there was not just a lack of a case, she the defense didn't ask many questions," said a juror.

The jurors say it's a tragic situation all around, from the murder of Alana Calahan to the teenager who will now spend many years behind bars.

Schmidt will be sentenced in the coming weeks.

 

Day Two of the trial:

 

The prosecution began the murder trial today by playing the dramatic 911 tape from the day Alana Calahan was murdered in January last year.

As the tape plays you can hear Alana's sister, Amanda Calahan urgently trying to get Alana to respond.

"Alana, can you hear me? Alana, I'm going to save you. She's like on the ground covered in blood," said Calahan.

As the tape continues to play you can hear Schmidt crying to the operator, "It looks like a bullet hole; a bullet hole."

Schmidt hung his head and clenched his jaw as he listened to the tape.

"I saw a man running through the woods. Do you know what he looked like? He's a black man," Schmidt told the dispatch operator.

Schmidt's cousin, Thomas Pitman says he's heard Schmidt give this answer before.

"Every time Aaron gets in trouble he blames it on a black person. He says they were black and wearing a black suit every time he gets into trouble," said Pitman.

"He has aggression, anger problems; he gets so mad if he gets in trouble he gets mad every time he gets in trouble he blames it on a black man wearing black," said Pitman.

But Pitman says Schmidt had a great relationship with Alana and her family. 

"He never said anything about Alana, he loved that family I guess he felt rejection from a lot of people and that's the only family that never rejected him even though they knew about his past," said Pitman.

And as more evidence was presented and more witnesses took the stand, the cameras caught a glimpse of emotion from Schmidt - a tear slipping from his eyes.

Schmidt's disturbed childhood is also coming to the forefront of this case.

Schmidt's sister and guardian, Diane Chitty took the stand and says she's had custody of him since he was five years old because he was sexually abused as a baby.

She says she took Schmidt to be mentally evaluated years ago and he was diagnosed with ADHD.

Schmidt hasn't taken the stand yet to give his side of the story and we're still waiting to see if he will in the coming days.

 

Murder trial for Lacy Aaron Schmidt begins:


It's been a little over a year since 14-year-old Alana Calahan was found dead in the woods behind her house.

Monday her neighbor, Lacy Aaron Schmidt faced a judge and jury as his murder trial began.

Alana's mother was the first witness to take the stand for the prosecution. Through tears, she talked through the horrific memories of that day.

Possibly the most disturbing part of her testimony, remembering how Schmidt was treated as a part of their family.


"He ate dinner at our table, I treated him like he was one of my own kids, we bought him birthday presents and Christmas presents," said Debbie Calahan.

The once Calahan family friend was indicted in March for murdering Alana after school in January last year.


Russell Lloyd with the Columbia County Sheriff's office was the responding officer to the murder and described the bizarre way Aaron acted when they found Alana's body.


"He wasn't crying, he seemed like there wasn't a care in the world, he was standing right beside me he didn't say anything he was just like talking like you'd talk to your buddy."

And for those sitting in the courtroom, the prosecuting attorney and the defending attorney painted two completely different pictures of the teenager sitting before them.


"What you'll see is Aaron is nothing more than a cold blooded murderer," said Natalie Paine, Assistant District Attorney.


"And we'll prove that he is a traumatized, neglected, abused boy snapping," Penelope Donkar, Public Defendant.

Nine months ago Schmidt pleaded not guilty to his charges of murder, theft by taking and possession of a firearm.

Schmidt claims he accidentally shot Alana when she was handling one of her father's guns. Schmidt's trial resumed Tuesday with more witnesses taking the stand for the prosecution.

 

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