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Get caught up on Ga v. Schmidt in under 2 minutes

In Session's coverage of Ga v. Schmidt continues Monday at 9 a.m. ET.

Fourteen-year-old Lacy Aaron Schmidt lived near the Calahans, a close-knit family living in rural Georgia with six children. Schmidt was a daily fixture at the Calahan home eating meals with the family and even joining them on vacations. The Calahans knew little of Schmidt’s home life other than he lived with his sister who was approximately 30 years older than him and also his legal guardian. After fourteen-year-old Alana Calahan found Schmidt alone in the Calahan home one day, the family scolded Schmidt and made it a rule that he was not allowed in the house without a parent present. No one could predict what would happen next.

On January 31, 2011, the school bus dropped Schmidt off by his house at 2 pm. Later that afternoon, Alana’s school bus dropped her off at 3:32 pm. After arriving home, Alana sat at the family’s computer in the dining room and began to post some photographs on her Facebook page. At 3:50 pm, Alana’s oldest sister Amanda left Alana alone for five minutes to go pick up the families youngest sibling, Chase, at the bus stop at the end of the driveway.

Amanda came back at 3:55 pm to discover Alana missing and a pool of blood on the dining room floor. Schmidt immediately ran inside saying that an intruder shot Alana and dragged her body to the woods behind the house. Amanda and Schmidt raced to the backyard and found Alana’s bloody body next to a tree. When the police arrived, Schmidt told them he saw an intruder. After further questioning, Schmidt changed his story claiming he accidently shot Alana while trying to show her how to use her father’s pistol.

The Case:

Prosecutors argue that Schmidt planned the cold-blooded murder of Alana Calahan. In the brief five minutes Alana was alone, Schmidt entered the Calahan home and shot her in the head with a pistol he had stolen from her father, Paul Calahan. He then dragged her body into the woods and threw the murder weapon into nearby foliage.

The defense does not dispute that Schmidt is the person who shot Alana Calahan. The defense believes this tragedy is the result of Schmidt’s unfortunate and unstable upbringing in an extremely dysfunctional, sexually and emotionally abusive family. Schmidt formed an incredibly strong bond to the Calahan family. When he believed that this bond was in jeopardy after being found alone in their house, Schmidt panicked and became emotionally unstable. The trauma caused this unstable boy to impulsively shoot Alana and the defense believes the jury should reach a verdict of involuntary manslaughter.

Schmidt is charged with one count of Malice Murder, one count of felony murder, one count of possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, and one count of theft of a firearm. If he is convicted, he faces life in prison with or without the possibility of parole.

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