KANSAS CITY, Kan. (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Prosecutors say two maintenance workers at a Kansas water park where a 10-year-old boy was decapitated on a waterslide deliberately mislead investigators as their criminal trial began.
The Kansas City Star reports that attorneys for David Hughes and John Zalsman countered Tuesday that the Kansas Attorney General’s Office misunderstood how the 17-story Verruckt waterslide functioned.
The men are charged with obstructing the investigation into the August 2016 death of Caleb Schwab at Schlitterbahn in Kansas City.
Hughes and Zalsman are accused of failing to replace a brake mat that fell off a raft two weeks before it went airborne, killing Caleb. The prosecution says the men then lied and said the mat had only been used for testing.
A grand jury also issued indictments with multiple criminal charges against the park; former park operations director Tyler Austin Miles; the ride’s co-designer, John Timothy Schooley, and a co-owner of Schlitterbahn Waterparks and Resorts, Jeffrey Wayne Henry.
Henry, Schooley and the construction company are charged with second-degree murder in connection with Caleb’s death, and Miles and the park are charged with involuntary manslaughter over it. All are charged with multiple counts of aggravated battery and aggravated endangering a child in connection with injuries to other riders on the waterslide.
Most of the U.S. Schlitterbahn Waterpark locations are in Texas, with parks in New Braunfels, South Padre Island, Galveston and Corpus Christi.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)