Sentencing postponed for Jason Schuller in murder case | TheUnion.com

Sentencing postponed for Jason Schuller in murder case

Jason Schuller

The Nevada County judge presiding over the murder case of Jason Schuller opted Friday to postpone his sentencing to May 14.

Deputy Public Defender Micah Pierce asked for more time to file a motion that potentially could affect his client's sentence. That motion could lead to a sentence of 25 years to life in prison, instead of a sentence of 50 years to life for the March 2016 shooting death of William Tackett, 67.

Pierce argued that Superior Court Judge Candace Heidelberger is obligated to examine all the information.

"This is a close call," Heidelberger said when announcing her decision, leading some of Tackett's supporters to audibly voice their exasperation.

Assistant District Attorney Chris Walsh pushed to have the sentencing occur Friday. He argued Pierce's motion is moot because prosecutors concede the judge has discretion over whether a weapons accusation warrants a higher sentence.

"There are a number of people here for the sentencing," Walsh said. "Some live out of state."

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The judge said she reluctantly chose to postpone the sentencing, and told Pierce to file his motion next week.

Authorities have said Schuller, 37, fled Tackett's Grass Valley home after shooting him nine times and setting his body on fire. They arrested him in Sacramento after a police chase. He pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

A jury in December convicted Schuller of first-degree murder. It deadlocked on whether he was sane at the time of the March 20, 2016, shooting. A retrial on only the sanity issue began in March, with jurors taking under an hour to find him sane.

To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email ariquelmy@theunion.com or call 530-477-4239.