Logan, Ohio — The Hocking County, Ohio, prosecutor’s office requested an extension Oct. 16 in the matter of charges brought against two 16-year-old males in the alleged homicide of a 44-year-old Chilicothe woman at Hocking Hills State Park.
Unnamed because they are youths, the pair is alleged to have caused a 74-pound, 6-foot-long log to strike Victoria Schafer, who was standing about 75 feet below and on a staircase at Old Man’s Cave, located within 2,356-acre Hocking Hills State Park.
Schafer was in the process of photographing several other youths for their graduation pictures when she was struck and killed instantly by the log, investigators with the Ohio DNR and the Hocking County Sheriffs Office said.
Both youths are from Logan, also in Hocking County. They each were charged Oct. 10 with reckless homicide. The charge is a third-degree felony and carries with it a fine of up to $10,000, jail time of up to five years, or both.
During a Hocking County Juvenile Court appearance the afternoon of Oct. 11, the two defendants each entered a plea of “denial” to the charges. In Ohio’s juvenile court system, youths do not enter pleas of guilty/not-guilty.
Subsequently, the two youths were remanded to the Multi-County Juvenile Detention Center in Lancaster where they remain.
An additional hearing is scheduled – tentatively set for Oct. 22 – in Hocking County Juvenile Court, though the Hocking County Prosecutor’s Office is requesting an extension, says assistant prosecutor Jorden Meadows.
“We are still collecting evidence pending (possible) further charges,” Meadows said.
Meadows says she also intends to discuss with Hocking County Prosecutor Benjamin E. Fickel the possibility of transfering the charges to adult criminal court jurisdiction rather than keeping them in the juvenile court system.
For a full account of the case to date, pick up a copy of the Oct. 25 print edition of Ohio Outdoor News.
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