A 17-year-old has pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in regards to the death of a photographer, who lost her life in the middle of a photoshoot after she was struck by a log at the bottom of a cliff.
The teenager has now been named in the case as the one responsible for pushing the 74-pound log off the cliff. The log hit Victoria Schafer, 44, a mother of four, as she took pictures of six seniors back in September 2019.
Churchheus had previously faced charges of murder and reckless homicide, to which he plead not guilty, with both now dropped. The judge has recommended Churchheus should serve at least three years – up to 4.5 years - at a juvenile detention facility. He is said to be “truly sorry” for his actions. He is quoted as saying:
That day at Old Man’s Cave, I never would have imagined that my actions would result in this. I have thought about the fact that I caused someone’s death every day since it happened, and I will carry that 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.
The other teen involved in the incident, Jordan Buckley, also 17, is expected to enter a guilty plea next week in a similar agreement as his peer.