Ohio teen pleads guilty to charges after dropping log off cliff, killing mother of 4

Jaden Churchheus, 17, pleaded guilty Wednesday to involuntary manslaughter in the death of 44-year-old Victoria Schafer.

Under terms of a plea agreement, prosecutors dropped murder and reckless homicide charges against him.

Churcheus and his friend, Jordan Buckley, 17, were initially tried as juveniles before the decision was made to charge both teens as adults. Buckley has been offered a similar plea deal and will appear in court on Sept. 25, according to the Cincinnati Inquirer.

“That day at Old Man’s Cave, I never would have imagined that my actions would result in this,” Churcheus said in court, according to local station WBNS-TV. “I have thought about the fact that I caused someone’s death every day since it happened, and I will carry that with me for the rest of my life. I appreciate the kindness of Ms. Schafer’s family, the attorney general’s office and the prosecutor’s office in giving me a second chance. I realize that nothing I say can bring Ms. Schafer back, but I am truly sorry.”

The case will now return to a juvenile court for sentencing on Oct. 15. The judge is recommending Churchheus serve a minimum of three years and a maximum of 4.5 years in an Ohio juvenile detention facility, according to the Inquirer.

The other teen charged in the case is scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 25.


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