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Judge dismisses charges in Schlitterbahn water slide death



A Wyandotte County judge on Friday dismissed criminal indictments against Schlitterbahn water park executives in the 2016 death of a child at the Kansas City, Kansas, water park.

In announcing the decision, Judge Robert Burns said Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt had “irreparably tainted” a grand jury in the case by showing clips of reality television, misleading expert testimony and other evidence that would not be admissible in court.

The case stemmed from the 2016 death of Caleb Schwab, a 10-year-old boy who was killed by decapitation while riding Schlitterbahn’s Verruckt water slide. Opened in 2014, Verruckt was billed as the world’s tallest water slide.

Last March, a grand jury indicted three individuals and two corporate entities on multiple charges related to the incident. Schlitterbahn co-owner Jeff Henry and Verruckt designer John Schooley faced charges including second-degree murder.

Schmidt’s office can still seek criminal charges through another grand jury or an appeal of Burns’ decision.

However, Schmidt did not offer any specific plans in a statement released Friday, saying his office would “take a fresh look at the evidence and applicable law” in the case.

Read more: Kansas City Star

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