Nevada County murder suspect ‘came out’ to shooting victim, prosecutor says
Jason Schuller, on trial for murder, told his victim he was gay — a revelation followed by William Tackett revoking Schuller’s welcome at his home and ultimately by Tackett’s shooting death, prosecutors said.
Schuller, 36, faces a murder charge in the March 2016 fatal shooting of Tackett, 67. Jesse McKenna, a neighbor of Tackett, testified Tuesday that he’d seen Schuller several times at Tackett’s Banner View Drive home, said Chris Walsh, assistant district attorney.
“He basically said around New Year’s the defendant came over there and came out to him and said he was gay,” Walsh added.
In February 2016 Tackett told Schuller that he no longer was welcome at his home, where Schuller periodically stayed. The next time McKenna saw Schuller was the following month, when Tackett was shot and set on fire, Walsh said.
Micah Pierce, deputy public defender, on Tuesday told jurors that Schuller, who’s pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, exhibited strange behavior in the days before Tackett’s death. At one point Schuller made comments about the anti-Christ to Nevada authorities.
If jurors convict Schuller, they then must determine if Schuller was insane at the time of Tackett’s death. Finding him insane could put him in a psychiatric facility for life.
A handful of other prosecution witnesses testified Wednesday, the second day of Schuller’s trial.
Among them was Lisa Sanchez, who dated Schuller in 2014-2015. Sanchez testified that she bought a Smith & Wesson 9 mm gun clip for Schuller when he asked.
Jesse Wilson, deputy assistant attorney, has said a Smith & Wesson 9 mm handgun was found in Schuller’s vehicle after he fled to Sacramento.
Attorneys have said the trial could continue past Christmas.