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Water slide designer charged in boy's death says evidence in case is 'weak'


By Steve Vockrodt, The Kansas City Star, Kansas City Star

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Verruckt designer John Schooley will ask a Wyandotte County, Kan., judge to reduce his $500,000 bond by half when he makes his first appearance in court on Monday.

Schooley, who was arrested on Tuesday at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport when re-entering the country on an international flight, had been in custody in Dallas County jail until Friday. Having waived extradition, he is now on his way to Wyandotte County.

[post_ads]Schooley faces second-degree murder, aggravated battery and aggravated child endangerment charges in connection with child's death in 2016 on the Verruckt water slide in Kansas City, Kan.

He was accused in a March 21 grand jury indictment of designing a water slide without credentials and disregarding industry standards and warnings about Verruckt's safety.

Schooley was working on a water park resort project called Atlantis in Sanya, China, when he was indicted.

Jeff Henry, co-owner of water park developer Schlitterbahn, faces the same charges. Henry, Schooley and Schlitterbahn deny the charges.

In a request to reduce bond on file in Wyandotte County, Schooley's attorney J. Justin Johnston wrote "the weight of the evidence in this case against Mr. Schooley is weak."

"Had these charges been brought by way of complaint, the Court and public would have seen and heard evidence at the preliminary hearing that the Verruckt waterslide and the boat involved in the fatal accident had both been changed and/or modified in material ways after the ride was commissioned in 2014, such that Mr. Schooley's design work can no longer be deemed the legal or proximate cause of either the fatal accident, or indeed, any of the accidents forming the basis for the charges against him," the motion reads.

It also said that Schooley was no longer affiliated with Schlitterbahn Waterpark of Kansas City, Kan., after April 2015.

The bond motion said Schooley has no criminal history, owns property in Texas and Alabama, has a wife and children and thus is not a flight risk.

Schooley will enter a plea of not guilty at his hearing on Monday, according to his bond motion. Henry pleaded not guilty at a hearing Thursday and has been released from custody on $500,000 bond.

Another Schlitterbahn employee, Tyler Miles, has also pleaded not guilty to charges against him. The former director of operations for Schlitterbahn in KCK faces charges of involuntary manslaughter, aggravated battery and aggravated child endangerment, plus counts of interfering with law enforcement.

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U.S. - U.S. Daily News: Water slide designer charged in boy's death says evidence in case is 'weak'
Water slide designer charged in boy's death says evidence in case is 'weak'
U.S. - U.S. Daily News
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