Jaden Churchheus

Jaden Churchheus appeared at the Hocking County Court of Common Pleas for his bond hearing on Friday. Churcheus is being charged with murder in the death of Victoria Schaffer.

LOGAN — One of the two teens charged with murder in the death of a Hocking Hills photographer has been given an increased bond.

The case stems from Sept. 2, 2019, when photographer Victoria Schafer, along with several teen girls, were at Old Man’s Cave in the Hocking Hills for a photo shoot. While walking down to the falls, Schafer, 44, of Chillicothe, was murdered when two teen boys pushed a 74-pound log over the edge of a cliff striking the woman.

Jaden Churchheus, one of the two teens being charged with murder in the death of Victoria Schaffer, appeared in the Hocking County Common Pleas Court, Thursday for a bond hearing. The other teen, Jordan Buckley, appeared in court earlier this month to suppress statements he had previously made to investigators.

Churchheus’ bond was raised by Hocking County Common Pleas Judge John Wallace from the original $100,000 recognizance bond to $250,000 cash or surety. Because of this, the teen was sent to the Multi County Juvenile Detention Center.

Other stipulations of Churchheus’ bond include that he must have no contact with the alleged victim’s family; remain in the state of Ohio; wear an ankle monitor for house arrest (which is at cost to the defendants); maintain no contact with any minors, other than siblings; maintain no contact with Miranda Spencer; report to all court dates; submit to mental health evaluation and assessment; and stipulates he cannot attend public school but must continue with education through online Digital Academy.

Churchheus and the other teen involved, Jordan Buckley, are being charged with the following:

Murder, an unclassified felony, carries a mandatory life sentence, with possibility of parole after 15 years, $15,000 fine, no community control because the defendants

  • would be on parole.
  • Involuntar
  • y manslaughter, first-degree felony, carries a prison term of three to 11 years minimum with a maximum of up to 16.5 years, $20,000 fine, and five years of post release control.
  • Reckless homicide, third-degree felony, nine to 36 months in prison, $10,000 fine, and three years of post release control.

The jury trial for Jaden Churchheus was set to begin Monday, May 11, however COVID-19 precautions have closed the Hocking County Courthouse for all matters but those deemed necessary by the court.

Buckley appeared in court Thursday, March 5 for a motion to suppress hearing. His pretrial was scheduled for Wednesday, May 6.

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Stran is a reporter for Logan Daily News.

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