Case dropped against Schlitterbahn in boy’s death on technicality; charges to be refiled

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- A judge dropped the case against Schlitterbahn Waterpark of KCK on Wednesday in connection to the death of a 10-year-old. But it could be just temporary.

Why? Technically, there is no such thing as Schlitterbahn Waterpark of Kansas City, Kansas. That company name does not exist. Now, the case will be taken to a new grand jury under the water park's correct name: KC Waterpark Management.

The KCK water park was charged in connection the death of 10-year-old Caleb Schwab's on the Verrückt water slide in 2016. The dropped case does not affect the criminal cases against the water park owner, slide designer and former park operations manager.

Caleb Thomas Schwab

Court documents show, from August 2014 until Caleb's death in August 2016, more than a dozen people reported injuries from the ride including concussions, whiplash and herniated spinal disk injuries.

Verruckt designer John Schooley, Schlitterbahn co-owner Jeff Henry and former park operations manager Tyler Miles are all charged with multiple felonies in the boy's death.

Miles faces a total of 20 felony charges including 12 charges of aggravated battery, five child endangerment charges, two charges of interference with law enforcement and one involuntary manslaughter in connection with death of Caleb.

Read the full indictment against Miles here.

The Verruckt water slide at the Schlitterbahn in Kansas City, Kansas.

Schooley and Henry face charges of reckless second-degree murder. The two, along with Henry & Sons Construction Company, Inc., were indicted in connection with injuries sustained by 13 other persons, including four other minors, while riding the water slide. Those charges include aggravated battery and aggravated endangering a child.

Read the full indictment against Schooley and Henry here.

All three men have pleaded not guilty to their charges and waived their right to a speedy trial, giving their attorneys times to go through the massive amount of documents and expert testimonies in the case.

Attorneys for the three men appeared in court Wednesday for a status conference. Schooley and Miles were also present. Henry was not.

Their attorneys want the three defendants to go to trial separately. The original trial for all three was scheduled for September. That has now been delayed indefinitely, and the judge hasn't ruled yet whether the trials will be together or separate.

Henry and his attorneys will be back in court for a hearing on May 1. The next status conference for all three defendants is planned for July.

Schlitterbahn will tear down the water slide once a court grants it permission following the investigation.

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