Maintenance Workers Found Not Guilty in First Schlitterbahn Trial

Published: 18 October 2018

A jury deliberated for less than three hours Thursday before finding two Schlitterbahn maintenance workers not guilty of obstructing an investigation into the 2016 death of Caleb Schwab on the Verruckt water slide in Kansas City, Kan.

David Hughes and John Zalsman, charged in May with lying to investigators, left the Wyandotte County Courthouse cleared of committing any crime after Judge Robert Burns read the verdicts. Both men said they would prefer that their attorneys speak on their behalf.

“I’m relieved for my client,” said Chris Joseph, who represented Zalsman. “I think John really was innocent. I think he went there to try and help out. There’s no way he went there to try and throw off an investigation. I don’t believe it for a second.”

Adam Zentner, the assistant Kansas Attorney General who tried the case, declined to comment as he left the courthouse, deferring comment to an office spokeswoman.

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