June 28, 2017 / 10:27 PM / 2 years ago

Brother of Ohio pastor shot dead during service gets 31 years to life

CLEVELAND (Reuters) - An Ohio man convicted of fatally shooting his brother, a pastor, during a Sunday morning church service in 2016 was sentenced on Wednesday to 31 years to life in prison, prosecutors said.

Daniel Schooler, 69, was sentenced to a range of 15 years to life for murder and an additional three years for using a firearm in the crime after a jury found him guilty earlier in June, Montgomery County Prosecutor Mat Heck Jr said in a statement.

Schooler had been charged in the death of Reverend William Schooler, 70, at St. Peter’s Missionary Baptist Church in Dayton.

Daniel Schooler’s attorney, Jay Carter, could not be reached to comment.

In a separate trial, for which Schooler also was sentenced on Wednesday, he received another 13 years for his conviction on a second weapons count and a repeat violent offender charge, Heck said. Montgomery County Judge Steven Dankof ruled the sentences in both cases would be served consecutively.

The pastor was shot four times on Feb. 28, 2016, with a stolen .380 caliber handgun in the church office, with the final shot witnessed by Helen Schooler, his wife of 49 years, according to court documents.

In 2011, Daniel Schooler filed a lawsuit against his brother, seeking $25,000, in a dispute over their parents’ estate, according to court documents. The case was eventually dismissed by a Montgomery County judge.

In 2001, Schooler was convicted of felonious assault with a deadly weapon and given five years’ probation, according to court documents.

The following year, Schooler was also charged with kidnapping and felonious assault with a weapon, according to court documents. He was eventually convicted of the assault charge and sentenced to two years in prison, according to the documents.

Editing by Ben Klayman and Matthew Lewis

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