DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Jurors came back with a guilty verdict, after 90 minutes of deliberation, for Daniel Schooler.
The 69-year old was convicted of murdering his pastor brother, William, in his church and could spend the rest of his life in prison.
Despite taking the stand in his own defense, claiming self-defense, he was found guilty of purposeful murder, felonious assault and multiple weapons charges Wednesday. Jurors, however, found him not guilty of aggravated murder with premeditation.
Schooler showed no emotion as the verdict was read.
“I would venture to say that this is not completely unexpected due to circumstances surrounding what happened, but he obviously wasn’t’ happy about it,” Defense Attorney Jay Carter said.
Schooler told jurors there was an ongoing dispute, about money, between him and his brother. He testified that he was in fear for his life, given his physical disabilities, and thought his brother had something in his hand when he shot him twice inside St. Peters Missionary Baptist Church in March 2016.
During his testimony Schooler said he panicked and never called for help. Instead he put the gun down and sat in the sanctuary.
According to Schooler, he carried a gun for protection and did not plan to shoot his brother that day.
Prosecutors argued it wasn’t self-defense and called the verdict just.
“This was just a senseless homicide and we’re pleased with the verdict,” Montgomery County Assistant Prosecutor Lynda Dodd said. “The evidence was pretty strong and the evidence was clear. The defendant killed his brother in cold blood and there was no defense for it.” Dodd goes on to say, “It is always a sadness, because no matter what happens in the justice system it’s not going to undo the damage the defendant did when he took his life.”
Schooler will be sentenced on June 28.