Thursday, Feb 22, 2018
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Court date set for man accused in boy's death

Police: Teen handled unsecured shotgun

WAUSEON -- A pretrial conference is scheduled for June 1 in the case of a Wauseon man facing multiple charges after a local boy fatally shot a schoolmate using a shotgun he found in the man's house.

An attorney for Craig A. Johnston, 35, entered a not-guilty plea on his behalf and waived arraignment during a preliminary hearing Tuesday in Fulton County Western District Court.

Judge Jeffrey Robinson set the June 1 hearing after attorney Gregory VanGunten and City Prosecutor Eric Nagel established deadlines for filing procedural motions.

Mr. Johnston is charged with negligent homicide in connection with the March 14 shooting death of Michael Schwartz, Jr., 13.

Officials said young Schwartz was shot accidentally by Felipe Villanueva, 14, while the two were waiting at the Johnston home for Mr. Johnston's son, Blade Johnston, to walk with them to school.

Police said the shotgun young Villanueva handled was left unsecured by Mr. Johnston.

Mr. Johnston also is charged with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia, based on a police search of the house after the shooting.

He faces up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000 if convicted of the negligent homicide charge.

Young Villanueva on Monday admitted to a charge of delinquency in connection with negligent homicide during a hearing Monday afternoon in Fulton County Juvenile Court.

He is scheduled for a disposition hearing -- the juvenile equivalent of sentencing -- on April 12. He could receive up to 90 days in juvenile detention and a $250 fine.

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