Teens Accused in Hocking Hills Death Face Murder Charges, Could be Tried as Adults

The two 16-year-olds face multiple charges in the Sept. 2 death of Victoria Schafer at Hocking Hills State Park

Victoria Schafer

Two teens charged in the death of a Chillicothe woman at Hocking Hills State Park last month will face juvenile murder charges for their alleged involvement in the incident, the Hocking Hills County Prosecutor's Office announced today.

Prosecutors will also ask that the two 16-year-old boys be tried as adults in the Sept. 2 death of Victoria Schafer, 44, who was struck and killed by a six-foot segment of a tree branch dislodged from above a set of stairs near popular park attraction Old Man's Cave. 

The two teens, currently in custody in a juvenile detention center in Lancaster, have denied the charges against them. Prosecutors say the two show lack of remorse and that new evidence warrants the new charges — up from the original third-degree misdemeanor charges of reckless homicide.  

In addition to the murder charges, the teens also face felony assault and involuntary manslaughter counts in connection with Schafer's death. A probable cause hearing will be held Nov. 5 in the case. 

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