Grass Valley murder suspect pleads not guilty by reason of insanity | TheUnion.com

Grass Valley murder suspect pleads not guilty by reason of insanity

Murder suspect Jason Schuller — who already had entered a not guilty plea — on Monday entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity.

Deputy Public Defender Micah Pierce told Nevada County Superior Court Judge Candace Heidelberger that Schuller contends he was insane at the time of the March 2016 shooting death of William Tackett.

Heidelberger asked Schuller if he understood that if he is found guilty of murder, he will then face a second trial to determine whether he was, in fact, insane at the time of the homicide — and that he could spend the rest of his life in a state psychiatric facility.

Schuller initially had been scheduled to go to trial on Oct. 13. He had wanted a delay until January, but after Deputy District Attorney Jesse Wilson objected, jury selection was set for Nov. 14 with the trial to begin on Nov. 28.

On Monday, Heidelberger ordered two psychiatric evaluations and set a status conference for Oct. 23.

Jury selection now is slated to begin Nov. 28; a trial readiness conference was scheduled for Nov. 3.

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Schuller is accused of shooting 67-year-old Tackett multiple times in the head and face, and setting Tackett's Banner View Drive home on fire before fleeing. He reportedly led police on a chase through three counties, ending early the next morning in Sacramento.

To contact Staff Writer Liz Kellar, email lkellar@theunion.com or call 530-477-4236.