News Article Details

Schuler pleads guilty, but mentally ill, to molestation charge

Brunswick News - 10/17/2018

Oct. 16--A man accused of attempting to assault an 11-year-old girl at a restaurant in April 2017 pleaded guilty Monday in Glynn County Superior Court.

John Cary Schuler, 41, pleaded guilty, but mentally ill, to a criminal attempt to commit child molestation and false imprisonment, charges that if he had gone to trial would have resulted in at least three years in prison and up to 50 years.

According to statements made by police and during Monday's hearing, the girl emerged from a stall in the Sonny's BBQ women's restroom to wash her hands, when she saw Schuler in the restroom. He grabbed her as she went to reach for a paper towel, and pushed her back toward the stalls.

However, the girl was able to get out of his grip and ran from the restroom, to her parents.

In documents filed last year, Schuler's attorney argued that his client was developmentally disabled and went into the wrong restroom, and when Schuler came out of one of the stalls, it scared the girl.

Superior Court Judge Anthony Harrison ordered a psychological evaluation for Schuler in June 2017, and that report was turned over to the court in August 2017.

Schuler received a sentence of seven years in prison and 13 years probation, must register as a sex offender and is banished from the Brunswick Judicial Circuit. He will receive credit for time served.

In other superior court matters, the court heard motions in the case of Garron Keon Campbell, 32, who is accused of attempted murder -- among other crimes -- for an alleged shooting that occurred March 1.

Tony Core, a witness and one of the alleged victims in the case, testified that he saw a man similar to Campbell's description arguing with Frank Murray behind Murray's residence earlier that day. A little less than two hours later, Core said he and Murray were behind a convenience store near the intersection of Fourth and Lee streets when a burgundy- colored car pulled up. The man in the driver's seat pointed a firearm at Murray -- the same man with whom Murray was arguing with earlier.

Core said that when the driver got out, the magazine to the gun fell out onto the ground, at which time Murray sped away on his bicycle.

Not long after, authorities maintain Campbell shot Murray.

Campbell's attorney, Matthew Grossman, moved to suppress evidence gathered during the investigation, including an alleged call made by Campbell's brother to the woman he was dating. The woman told investigators the brother told her a number of things about the alleged crime. However, Grossman said she later recanted, and signed an affidavit to the fact that the phone call never happened.

Also, the story The News ran on the shooting -- with a photo of Campbell -- happened before investigators were able to interview Core. According to testimony during the hearing Monday, Core told police that the photo didn't really look like the man he saw, noting the person in the photograph looked older. But, when confronted with a new mugshot of Campbell, and Core said the newer image looked like the man he saw, though he wasn't 100 percent certain.

Grossman said the actions by police during the identification procedure essentially tainted the process and that Core's positive ID of the suspect should be thrown out.

Rulings on the evidence in the Campbell case are forthcoming.

Rulings are also forthcoming following pretrial arguments in the case of Gary Arlen Holland, charged with first-degree vehicular homicide and two counts of second-degree vehicular homicide in the death of bicyclist Susan Kilner in September 2016.

Both the defense counsel and the prosecution reviewed a set of hospital photographs of Kilner in which some photos were challenged for being duplicative, and one in particular drew attention for its graphic nature. Assistant District Attorney Rocky Bridges said the graphic image was less so than others that were available, but still necessary for the prosecution to show cause of death, which is needed to prove Holland's vehicular homicide charges.

Defense attorney Keith Higgins argued against the constitutionality of the first-degree vehicular homicide charge, as well.


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