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Teenagers charged with murder of photographer after pushing six-foot log off cliff as she took pictures of class below

Teenagers charged with murder of photographer after pushing six-foot log off cliff as she took pictures of class below

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Two teenagers are facing murder charges after a six-foot log fell from a cliff and killed a photographer taking school pictures below.

Victoria Schafer, 44, was killed instantly when the 74-pound log fell about 75 feet and hit her as she photographed students for their senior pictures near Old Man’s Cave at Hocking Hills State Park, in Ohio, on 2 September.

Authorities investigating whether the log was deliberately moved concluded that it was purposely removed from a pile of logs more than 40 feet from the edge of a cliff, the Chillicothe Gazette reports.

Troy Newman, an investigator at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, claimed there was a ledge below the first drop and that the log would have required forward momentum to fall the way it did, according to the newspaper.

Investigators allege two 16-year-old boys, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pushed the log intentionally.

However the lawyer representing one of the boys has argued he did not intend to kill anyone, CBS News reports.

The teenagers were initially charged with reckless homicide but their charges have now been upgraded to murder, The Washington Post reports.

They also faces charges of felonious assault and involuntary manslaughter and will be tried as adults.

According to Ohio state law, a person can be charged with second degree murder if they have done something intentionally which has led to the death of another person, even if it was not planned or premeditated.

Ms Schafer’s sister, Cathy Muth, told CBS the mother of four had left her job to pursue photography full time and had died doing what she loved.

The defendants remain in a juvenile detention centre on $100,000 (£78,000) bonds, CBS reports. 

The teenagers will appear before a new judge in adult court next week if a grand jury decides to indict them on Friday, according to The Washington Post.

A trial will then follow.






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