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Teen charged as an adult in Merrillville slaying of Gary teacher

Royal Marshall

CROWN POINT | A Merrillville teen pleaded guilty Friday to an amended charge of voluntary manslaughter in the July slaying of an 80-year-old Gary high school teacher.

Royal Marshall, 17, will be sentenced to 30 years in prison if Lake Superior Court Judge Salvador Vasquez accepts his plea agreement. In exchange for Marshall's plea, prosecutors agreed to dismiss charges of murder, murder in the perpetration of a robbery, robbery and auto theft.

During the hearing, Vasquez read from a probable cause affidavit describing the events July 6 that led to the killing of Anna Schulz, a Lew Wallace High School teacher, in her Merrillville home.

Marshall affirmed the following account read by Vasquez:

Marshall fled from police after a possible burglary was reported in the 6400 block of Taft Street.

He saw a house with an open door in the 2500 block of West 58th Place and attempted to hide there. He startled Schulz while inside her home, grabbed a knife and cut her neck.

Schulz's Cadillac was missing when she was found dead in her home. Police recovered the vehicle in an alley behind the home of a relative of Marshall's. A pair of women's shoes that appeared to have blood on them was located in the car.

Police searched for the murder weapon in a pond behind Schulz's home, but nothing was recovered.

Vasquez said the plea agreement can't be changed after he accepts it. He told Marshall not to "waste your time or my time" by sending letters asking Vasquez to modify the agreement.

A sentencing hearing is set for June 28.