Ohio teens face murder charges in woman's death at state park

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Posted at 9:51 AM, Oct 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-25 09:51:32-04

LOGAN, Ohio (AP) — Two teenagers charged in the death of an Ohio woman who was hit by a falling piece of tree at a state park now face murder charges in juvenile court and the possibility they will be tried as adults.

The Hocking County Prosecutor's Office on Thursday upgraded charges against the 16-year-old and 17-year-old to murder, felonious assault and involuntary manslaughter in the Sept. 2 death of 44-year-old Victoria Schafer. They'd denied previous charges of reckless homicide.

Prosecutors also requested a transfer to adult court.

Schafer was struck by a falling hemlock log while standing on stairs near Old Man's Cave at Hocking Hills State Park in southeastern Ohio. The Chillicothe woman, a local photographer, died at the scene.

Investigators found evidence the falling piece wasn't a natural occurrence.