An Akron man was scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday for the shooting death of his adult grandson but instead got two new lawyers who will take a fresh look at his case.

Dann Schaffer, 62, pleaded guilty in February to a reduced charge of involuntary manslaughter with a gun specification. He later sought to withdraw his plea and to get a new attorney.

Summit County Common Pleas Judge Kathryn Michael on Wednesday allowed Paul Grant to withdraw as Schaffer’s lawyer and appointed Bill and Andrea Whitaker, father and daughter attorneys, to represent Schaffer.

Bill Whitaker requested a few weeks to review the case and to advise Schaffer on how to proceed.

“Listen to what their advice is,” Michael advised Schaffer.

Schaffer is accused of shooting and killing his grandson Cody Czerpak, 22, on Aug. 19 with a shotgun at Schaffer’s Rothrock Avenue home in Akron’s Summit Lake neighborhood. Czerpak was living with his grandfather at the time.

Several family members were home during the shooting. Prosecutors said Schaffer was highly intoxicated and that when a family member asked what had happened after the shooting, he sat down and shrugged his shoulders. Schaffer said he doesn’t remember what happened, according to court documents.

The shooting has caused “enormous tension and stress” on the family, Assistant Prosecutor Zachary Neumann said in a sentencing memorandum.

Schaffer is charged with two counts each of murder and felonious assault, with gun specifications.

With the plea deal, he faces up to 14 years in prison. If convicted of murder, he would face a life sentence.

Schaffer has no convictions for violent offenses in his past and has had a clean record for 11 years, according to court records.

Schaffer will be back in court at 1 p.m. May 22.

Bill Whitaker said he will tell prosecutors before that date whether Schaffer will still seek to withdraw his plea or will be sentenced.

 

Stephanie Warsmith can be reached at 330-996-3705, swarsmith@thebeaconjournal.com and on Twitter: @swarsmithabj.