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Man charged in fatal church van crash pleads guilty to unrelated charges

5:12 PM, Apr 30, 2013   |    comments
Tyler Schaeffer
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A man charged in a fatal church van crash was in court Tuesday on a string of unrelated robbery charges.

Tyler Schaeffer, 21, changed pleas of not guilty to guilty on 9 out of 14 counts against him.

Among the guilty pleas are 6 charges of robberies at various stores around the area, one charge of a home invasion in Sevierville where he stole cell phones, marijuana and methadone, and one charge of trying to sell the drugs.

He won't be sentenced until after his trial on federal firearms charges.

Prosecutors say Schaeffer was high on bath salts when he slammed head-on into a van carrying members of Cedar Grove Baptist Church in Sepember.  Two church members were killed: 45-year-old Jeff Trussell of Maryville and 16-year-old Courteney Kaliszewski of Seymour.

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