Retrial starts in Jason Schuller murder case
The sister of convicted murderer Jason Schuller testified Thursday that her brother saw and heard things that didn’t exist in the days immediately before the shooting death of William Tackett.
However, the prosecutor in the Nevada County case told jurors that the only expert who will testify that Schuller was legally insane at the time of the shooting works for the defense.
Jurors began hearing evidence on Thursday in the retrial of Schuller, 36. A jury in December convicted Schuller of murder in the March 20, 2016 shooting of the 67-year-old Tackett. It reached no decision about Schuller’s sanity, forcing a retrial on that issue only. Schuller remains convicted of first-degree murder.
Schuller has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.
Called to the witness stand by Schuller’s defense team, Jennifer Schuller said her brother — visiting her Omaha, Nebraska, home in March 2016 — was deteriorating.
“He was just acting different,” she said. “In conversations he would say things that didn’t make sense.”
Her brother saw and heard things that weren’t present. In one instance he told her to shut a Bible after she opened it, an unusual move because of his strong faith. Additionally, Jason Schuller said a “chip” was implanted in his head after a car wreck, his sister said.
Under questioning by Assistant District Attorney Chris Walsh, Jennifer Schuller said she’s spoken with her brother since his arrest about mental institutions.
A finding of legal insanity would send Jason Schuller to an institution, not a prison.
Jennifer Schuller also said she let her brother near her children, telling Walsh “sure” when he asked if she believed he understood the difference between right and wrong.
“This is something that’s made up,” Walsh told jurors about Schuller’s claims of insanity. “It’s a lie.”
The trial is scheduled to continue next week.
To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email email@example.com or call 530-477-4239.
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