Second trial for teen accused of planning school shooting postponed due to snowstorm

NOW: Second trial for teen accused of planning school shooting postponed due to snowstorm

ROCHESTER, Ind. -- John Schultz IV was arrested in 2020, after police were informed that he and another student were allegedly planning a series of school shootings in Rochester. He was tried last summer, but a mistrial was declared and a second trial was scheduled in August.

The trial was set to begin at 9:00am, but with reports of a major snowstorm expected to hit in the middle of the week, the judge opted to postpone it by one week. 

“It’s kind of ironic," said Mike Marrs, the Fulton County Prosecutor." Because the judge said when we rescheduled this thing back in December that we’d probably end up with a snowstorm or something at the end of January and have to move the thing again.”

According to Marrs, this was done mainly out of concern for the jurors, who would be traveling in from Miami County.

“If this weather does hit like it’s supposed to, it would create a problem for them potentially getting here," he said. "Nobody wants to try the case for a day or two and take four or five days off and then continue, it’s just going to be very disjunctive.”

The decision to postpone the trial was not simple. There was worry that all the jurors would be available to return a week later-- of the eighty-five people selected for the pool, only thirty-five showed up, and the jury was selected from that group, leaving no available alternates.

“If something happened with one juror—COVID, a family emergency, anything like that—we would have ended up, essentially, with the outcome of a mistrial and having to restart all over again," Marrs said.

Luckily, all of the twelve jurors were still available, and now the court is using its extra time to find suitable alternates just in case.

“With the mode we’re in now, with COVID stuff, it’s not uncommon for everything to seemingly fall apart," Marrs said. "I was shocked that we had twelve jurors and that all of them could do it next week. I was thinking that was gonna be a problem and it wasn’t. So we’re ready to go, and come Monday, we’ll get at it and by late next week we’ll have closure on this case, because I think everybody wants that.”

He also noted that the postponement will be beneficial for both the defense and the prosecution, as it will give them extra time to prepare for the case. 

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