Teens charged with photographer’s death make court appearance

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HOCKING COUNTY, OH (WCMH) — Two teens facing murder and other charges in connection with the death of a photographer in Hocking Hills made a court appearance Friday.  

Jaden Churchheus, 16, and Jordan Buckley, 16, were indicted Tuesday. 

One Friday, both teens pleaded not guilty and were both ordered by the judge to house arrest, no contact with the victim’s family, not allowed to attend public school, and both must undergo a mental health assessment.  

Churchheus was released to his grandmother. Buckley was released to his parents.  

Churchheus and Buckley have been charged with murder, aggravated murder, and reckless homicide in the death of Victoria Schafer. 

Schafer, 44, was struck and killed by a tree while she was near Old Man’s Cave in Hocking Hills on Sept. 2. 

According to ODNR, investigators found evidence that suggested the falling section of tree was not a natural occurrence. 

In early October, the two teens were arrested.   

Last week during a preliminary hearing, the two suspects were bound over from juvenile court and will be tried as adults. 

If convicted, the teens could face life in prison. 

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