(LOGAN, Ohio) — Two teenagers accused of murder will be tried as adults in the death of a photographer who was hit by a falling tree log in an Ohio state park.
A judge at Hocking County Juvenile Court in Logan, Ohio, determined on Tuesday that there was probable cause to bound both 16-year-old boys over to adult court to stand trial. The teens, who are now being held on $100,000 bond each, will remain in juvenile detention.
The two boys were arrested last month in connection with the Sept. 2 death of Victoria Shafer, a 44-year-old married mother of four who owned a photography business in Chillicothe, Ohio, about 45 miles south of Columbus.
Shafer was taking pictures for several high school seniors at Hocking Hill State Park on Labor Day when she was struck and killed by a falling log. Investigators quickly determined that the log, which was 6-feet long and weighed 74 pounds, was pushed or thrown off a cliff from above and later arrested the two teens after they allegedly confessed their involvement during interviews with detectives, according to a press release from the Hocking County Prosecutor’s Office.
Authorities did not release their names due to their ages.
Both boys were initially charged with reckless homicide and pleaded not guilty at their first court appearance on Oct. 11, though prosecutors noted that those charges were subject to change as more information comes in.
Now, the teens are facing charges of murder, involuntary manslaughter and felonious assault. Their defense attorneys argue that the act wasn’t intentional, according to Columbus ABC affiliate WSYX-TV.
“The prosecution cannot prove murder,” Ryan Shepler, the lawyer for one of the boys, told WSYX.
“I think at any jury trial in the adult system my client’s going to be acquitted,” said the other boy’s lawyer, Bob Toy. “No ifs, ands or buts about that.”
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