Jury trial continues for teen accused of planning school shooting in Rochester

NOW: Jury trial continues for teen accused of planning school shooting in Rochester

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FULTON COUNTY, Ind. -It’s day two of testimony in the jury trial for a Michiana teen accused of planning a Columbine-style shooting at Rochester High School. The prosecution making their argument to the jury, to convict John Schultz IV of conspiracy to commit murder, among other charges.

The prosecution called Donald Robin Jr., who was convicted for his part in this plan, to testify against Schultz. He agreed to testify as part of his plea deal. In his testimony, he said they planned to target two schools, one for revenge and the other for opportunity.

Rochester High School and Caston High School were both targets for a planned school shooting by Robin and Schultz. In his testimony, Robin said Rochester High was the key target because “it was the place we had torment,."

Robin also spoke about his history with Schultz, how they met in elementary school, but said they didn’t become friends until Robin dropped out of high school in the ninth grade, because he claims he was bullied.

On the stand, Robin mentioned how he and Schultz would do drugs together like marijuana and methamphetamine daily. Robin said they would be on the computers at his house and did drugs at Schultz's house because they had “a lot more leniency than my house.”

Robin said he showed Schultz a Columbine docuseries called Zero Hour and would research other school shootings like the Virginia Tech shooting, Parkland, and Sandy Hook. In his testimony, Robin said they liked Columbine because of “how it was executed" and “admired” Parkland because of the number of people killed.

Robin said while they were plotting, they disagreed on the timeframe of the alleged shooting.

“I wanted a school shooting at the end of the year, I wanted a copycat and Johnny wanted to make it his own,” Robin said.

Robin went on to testify how they were, “experimenting to make bombs,” and wanted to see what works and what doesn’t. He said while on meth they had acquired CO2 canisters, diesel, a gas tank, propane tank, and a helium tank.

They acquired all these items before they were arrested on July 31.

In the testimony, Robin said he went to a pawnshop and browsed around to look at guns. They didn’t have any guns when they were arrested, but Robin said they would have still gone through with the shooting if they hadn’t been arrested.

During the cross-examination the defense asked questions about Robins's deposition that he made in March of 2020, they attempted to discredit his claims stating his testimony contradicts his previous statements. Robin claims he wasn’t in the right state of mind when he gave that deposition.

The defense made a motion to dismiss conspiracy and intimidation from the list of charges.

The prosecution argued they had shooter outfits planned out, bought a utility belt and added pouches for ammunition, acquired helium, propane tanks, and CO0 canisters, and that Schultz had a name list written on the walls of his bedroom. The prosecution also said the intimidation charge was relevant because of a Facebook message conversation about the alleged plan to shoot the school.

The judge denied the motion and said there is evidence to go through a jury trial.

The court will reconvene on Wednesday, July 28, for closing arguments.

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