KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The designer of a waterslide where a 10-year-old Kansas boy was decapitated has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in the boy’s death.

John Schooley, who designed the Verruckt slide for the Schlitterbahn Water Park in Kansas City, Kansas, made his first court appearance Monday in the 2016 death of Caleb Schwab. Schooley remains jailed in Wyandotte County after being brought to Kansas from Texas Friday.

District Judge Roger Burns declined to lower Schooley’s bond from $500,000 to $250,000 and ordered Schooley to surrender his passport.

Schooley’s attorney, Justin Johnston, declined comment after the brief hearing.

Jeff Henry, co-owner of Texas-based Schlitterbahn Waterparks and Resorts, pleaded not guilty last week to second-degree murder in Caleb’s death.

A trial date for Henry and Schooley has been tentatively set for Sept. 10.


This version of the story corrects that Schooley’s hearing was Monday, not Friday.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.