2 plead insanity in arson case
Two of three people recently indicted on charges in connection to a fatal arson entered pleas of not guilty by reason of insanity Wednesday.
Attorneys for Shey L. Weiker, 31, and Charles V. Schaeffer, 44, both of Fostoria, entered the pleas on behalf of their clients in Seneca County Common Pleas Court Judge Michael Kelbley’s courtroom.
Weiker and Schaeffer are to undergo competency evaluations in Toledo and evaluations for the pleas of not guilty by reason of insanity.
Weiker is charged with one count each of aggravated arson, a first-degree felony; aggravated murder, a special felony; murder, also a special felony; and attempted murder, a first-degree felony, for allegedly setting fire May 26 to 614 S. Poplar St., the residence of Danny Joe Marker Jr., 48, with a flare.
Marker and Tara Lynn Vance, 44, who were hearing impaired, died as a result of the fire. Dana Weatherall, 49, who also is hearing impaired, was seriously injured.
Weiker allegedly set fire to the residence because Marker allegedly committed a sex offense against a child, according to police.
Schaeffer, who is charged with one count each of complicity to aggravated arson, a first-degree felony; complicity to aggravated murder, a first-degree felony; complicity to attempted murder, a first-degreefelony; and complicity to murder, a special felony, is accused of instructing Weiker how to activate and use the flare she allegedly threw at the South Poplar Street residence.
During his arraignment Wednesday afternoon, Schaeffer told Kelbley he was ready to enter a plea.
“I’m ready to take care of this today,” Schaeffer said.
He was then advised by Kelbley and his attorney, Mark Klepatz, to wait to undergo the competency evaluation.
Also during his hearing, Schaeffer denied his role in the arson and said he did not show Weiker how to activate a flare.
“Sir, I did not do anything wrong,” Schaeffer told Kelbley.
If convicted of the charges, Weiker and Schaeffer face a maximum penalty of life in prison without parole, according to their indictments.
Seneca County Prosecutor Derek DeVine declined to comment Wednesday on why the death penalty is not being sought.
Another person indicted in connection to the arson, Timothy D. Hall, 20, of Fostoria, has pleaded not guilty to one count of tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony, and two counts of obstruction of justice, also a third-degree felony.
Hall allegedly met up with Weiker and threw the flare’s strike cap into a sewer system after the fire was set at Marker’s residence.
If Hall is convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of nine years in prison.