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UPDATE: Johnny Schultz trial results in hung jury, mistrial

Published: Jul. 28, 2021 at 5:36 PM EDT
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ROCHESTER, Ind. (WNDU) - The jury floor person said they all agreed on one charge, but one juror couldn’t be convinced to join the rest on the other two charges.

He said, “We tried addressing it several different ways but one particular juror will no work with us.”

The court officially declared a mistrial.

“I’m surprised by the fact that it was a hung jury. We expected a verdict one way or the other,” said Schultz’s attorney Paul Namie.

“So they finally gave up and threw it in the towel and we ended up with a hung jury, so it is disappointing,” said Fulton County Prosecutor Michael Marrs.

The state is tasked with deciding whether they want to proceed with a new trial.

A pretrial conference is scheduled for Aug. 9th at 9:30 A.M. at the Fulton County courthouse.

Original reporting:

Lawyers gave their closing arguments Wednesday in the trial for a teen accused of plotting to shoot-up two high schools in Fulton County.

John Schultz faces a level-2 felony for conspiracy to commit murder and two level-6 felonies for intimidation and possession of meth.

16 News Now spent the day at the Fulton County Courthouse to tell us what some of the most important arguments jurors heard before heading into deliberation.

The state says their evidence and testimony shows there was a secret plan between Johnny Schultz and his co-defendant Donny Robin Jr. to carry out Columbine-like shootings at Rochester and Caston High Schools.

However, the defense questioned how a lot of this evidence links Schultz to this plan and questioned the credibility of the co-defendant’s testimony.

One of the biggest questions came down to whether or not the jury believed Robin’s testimony on Tuesday.

The defense pointed out numerous inconsistencies between answers Robin gave in court and answers he gave to similar questions during a March deposition.

The state asked jurors why they think Robin would lie about this plan when he’s already pleaded guilty and is serving time for his role in it.

The defense also attempted to sow doubt into whether or not Schultz’s actions really constitute a conspiracy to commit murder.

They claimed the parallels to the Columbine massacre didn’t mean they were going to carrying out the plot, and that there weren’t any overt acts that would further their plan.

The state cited 16 overt acts by Schultz that moved him closer to killing someone including stealing helium and propane tanks to make bombs, possessing bullets to make bombs, researching school shooter simulations, and researching how old you need to be to buy a gun at a pawn shop.

Deliberation started around 11:00 A.M. Wed. morning.

If convicted, Schultz faces up to 35-years in prison for all three charges. The conspiracy to commit murder charge alone could put him away for 30-years.

“Our job is to basically hold the state to a standard and that’s that burden of proof that you heard so much about throughout the trial and jury selection and everything,” Namie said.

Robin’s testimony was part of a plea deal. He’s serving eight years of a 17-year sentence at the Westville Correctional Facility for conspiracy to commit murder, with the other nine years suspended.

As of 6:00 P.M. Wed. afternoon, the jury is yet to reach a verdict.

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