Juvenile (16) -
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder:
February 10, 2004
Date of arrest:
Date of birth: December 27, 1987
Steven Schulhoff, 48 (her father)
Method of murder: Beating with a baseball bat
Springs, Seminole County, Florida,
to life without the possibility of parole on September 27, 2006
By Michal Horák
The Case of Courtney Schulhoff: View Over The Ocean
The Case of Courtney Schulhoff: View Over The Ocean (one year
Courtney Christine Schulhoff (born December
27, 1987 in Washington, D.C.) is an American female prisoner who was
convicted in the bludgeoning death of her father in his Altamonte
Springs, Florida apartment when she was 16 years old.
She was convicted of first-degree murder and was
sentenced to life without the possibility of parole in September 2006.
In 2009, Courtney was interviewed at the Lowell Correctional
Institution in Ocala, Florida by RTL, a German news show, about the
punishment of life without parole for juvenile offenders.
Courtney Schulhoff lived in Altamonte Springs,
Florida with her father after her parents divorced. She attended Lyman
High School, but had dropped out and was pursuing her GED. It was
there where 15 year-old Courtney met her 20 year-old boyfriend Michael
Morin. Michael was on probation for car theft, and Courtney's father
did not approve of their relationship. The two however, continued to
date. Courtney had told Michael that her father had physically abused
During the early morning hours of February 10,
2004, Courtney Schulhoff's father, Stephen Schulhoff, was beaten to
death inside his apartment. After the murder, Courtney and Michael
reportedly drove to a McDonald's 20 miles away in Orlando, Florida
using Stephen's truck. Later in the afternoon, Courtney and Michael
returned to the apartment. Michael had later said that he and Courtney
had planned to take Stephen's body to Brevard County and throw it off
Shortly after the murder, Courtney and Michael were
apprehended after Stephen Schulhoff's girlfriend, Elaine Bouck, had
called 911. Courtney stated to police that she waited at the apartment
complex tennis courts while Michael committed the murder, and she
admitted to leaving the Louisville Slugger baseball bat outside the
bedroom door. Michael claimed that he had tried to talk Courtney out
of killing her father, to no avail.
Courtney was the first of the defendants to stand
trial. Her trial began on September 26, 2006. Prosecutors alleged that
although Michael Morin had committed the murder, Courtney had made it
all happen. She did not testify in her own defense at the trial. The
next day, she was found guilty of first-degree murder. Because she was
only 16 when the murder was committed, she was ineligible for the
death penalty; on September 27, 2006, she was sentenced to life
After the judge handed down the obligatory
sentence, Courtney Schulhoff spoke out in open court, stating: "Your
Honor, I would like to openly admit in court that Michael Morin is not
the person who killed my father. I was. So, I accept full
responsibility, and I accept the verdict."
Michael Morin's murder trial began in 2007. Unlike
his former girlfriend, he was facing a death sentence if convicted.
During his testimony, he admitted killing Stephen Schulhoff but
expressed regret for the action. At the trial, Courtney also testified
in Michael's defense. She had given a new deposition after her
conviction, and stated that she was the one who had bludgeoned Stephen
Schulhoff to death with the baseball bat. However, on April 26, 2007,
Michael Morin was convicted. He was sentenced to life in prison
without parole, and is serving his sentence at the Taylor Correctional
Daughter changes story, says she killed dad
Renee Stutzman - OrlandoSentinel.com
SANFORD -- It was a vicious, sensational slaying:
Someone beat Steven Schulhoff to death in his bed with a baseball bat.
His then-16-year-old daughter, Courtney Schulhoff,
blamed her car-thief boyfriend, Michael Morin.
She said they had talked about the killing, but she
changed her mind. Yet, she said, Morin bludgeoned her dad as she stood
outside the apartment.
For her role in the crime, a jury convicted her of
murder, and a judge sentenced her to life in prison. But after her
fate was sealed, she told the judge she was the real killer. And now
she has provided more details.
When Morin, 23, goes on trial in two weeks, facing
the death penalty, Courtney Schulhoff will give jurors that new
version of events, defense attorney Jeff Dowdy said.
She provided her new account in a sworn statement
Nov. 9, two months after her conviction.
That information was obtained Tuesday by the
"I hit my dad with a baseball bat," Schulhoff, now
19, told attorneys.
"How many times did you hit him?" Dowdy asked.
"I don't know. I wasn't really counting."
"Where was Michael when this was going on?" Dowdy
"Outside with the dog," she said.
"So you're telling us, everybody in this room
today, you're the one who killed your father?" Dowdy asked.
Steven Schulhoff was found beaten to death in his
Altamonte Springs apartment Feb. 10, 2004. His bed and the wall behind
it were splashed with blood. His body was near the foot of the bed,
stuffed inside a storage container.
Neither Courtney Schulhoff nor Morin testified at
But both gave statements to Altamonte Springs
police shortly after they were arrested. Courtney Schulhoff insisted
Morin acted on his own.
"I begged him not to, oh my God," she said,
according to a transcript of her police statement.
In her new version, though, she said she was angry
with her father.
In her statement, she said he had raped her several
months earlier, something she had not reported to police. And
recently, she said, he had refused to let her drop out of Lyman High
She and Morin, just out of jail in a car-theft
case, ran out of money, so they went back to the apartment to get her
father's wallet, she said.
Without telling Morin, she decided to kill her
father, who was asleep inside, she said.
She got the family's greyhound out of the house,
put on baggy clothes, grabbed her father's aluminum Louisville Slugger
bat and beat him to death, she said.
He did not wake up. He did not resist. The only
sound he made was "like a gurgling," she said in her deposition.
Morin, she said, came inside a few minutes later,
and when he saw the body, ran to the bathroom and threw up.
He tried to talk her into calling the police, she
said, but she refused.
Assistant State Attorney Jim Carter would not
comment on Courtney Schulhoff's new account.
"Watch the trial," he said.
After conviction, teen girl confesses in open court to killing father
Sept. 28, 2006
SANFORD, Fla. —
Moments after a jury found her guilty of helping her boyfriend murder
her father, a teenage girl acknowledged her guilt, but insisted her
lover was innocent.
18, made the dramatic statement as a judge prepared to sentence her to
life in prison without parole, the mandatory punishment for
Asked by the judge if
she wished to speak before sentencing, Schulhoff, who had maintained
her innocence throughout the two-day trial, whispered with her lawyers
for five minutes. She then sighed deeply and rose.
"Your honor, I would
like to openly admit Michael Morin is not the person who killed my
father. I was. So I accept full responsibility and I accept the
verdict," Schulhoff told Seminole Circuit Court Judge O. H. Eaton.
Morin, 22, is to be
tried next month for the 2004 baseball bat bludgeoning of Steve
Schulhoff, 48. Prosecutors contend Morin wielded the bat, but Courtney
Schulhoff, then 16, urged him to kill her father, who forbade their
relationship. They claimed Schulhoff provided Morin with the murder
After the sentencing,
defense attorney Tim Caudill said Schulhoff now says that it was she,
not Morin, who swung the bat. Asked if his client was lying in an
attempt to save Morin from conviction, Caudill replied, "Some people
might say that, but I'm not going to comment."
Attorney Jim Carter, who prosecuted Schulhoff and will also try
Morin's case, acknowledged that her statement would have an impact on
the next case.
"I have an ethical
obligation to disclose this to Mr. Morin's attorney and I will," he
Schulhoff is listed as
a witness for Morin's trial. Asked if Schulhoff might testify during
his trial that she acted alone, Carter said, "Of course she could."
Her lawyers opted not
to give an opening statement or call any witnesses on her behalf. In
summations, they argued that the prosecution had not proven its case
beyond a reasonable doubt, but stopped short of saying Morin acted
alone. In tape-recorded interviews with police shortly after the
murder, Schulhoff said Morin killed her father over her objections. He
has told police he blacked out during the attack but came to holding
the bloody bat.
The jury of seven
women and five men deliberated three hours before returning the guilty
verdict. Schulhoff, dressed in a pinstripe blazer and shackled at the
waist, showed no emotion as a clerk read the verdict.
Neither her mother,
who was divorced from her father, nor any family members attended the
trial. Her father's relatives live out of state and were unable to
travel to Florida for the proceeding.
girlfriend, Elaine Bouck, who had been dating him for four months at
the time of the murder, told the judge that the victim "was one of the
most wonderful people I've ever met."
"He deserves to be
remembered," she said.
At the defense table,
Schulhoff appeared to wipe away tears. A moment later, she resumed her
stony demeanor. When the prosecutor reminded the judge to give her
credit for time served in the county jail, a formality with her life
sentence, she rolled her eyes.
Sanford Trial Starts For Teen Accused In Father's
September 26, 2006
SANFORD, Fla. -- Testimony started Tuesday
morning in the trial of a teenager accused of convincing her boyfriend
to murder her father. Courtney Schulhoff said she was upset her dad
stopped letting her use his credit cards.
Schulhoff did not always get along with her father.
Steven Schulhoff apparently did not approve of his young daughter's
It happens with a lot of teenagers, but prosecutors
said, in this case, it led to murder.
Courtney Schulhoff is facing a lifetime in prison, but
the young woman smiled from time to time as her murder trial opened.
Prosecutors said, two and a half years ago, when she
was just 16 years old, she hatched a scheme to murder her father,
Steven. He was beaten to death with a baseball bat in his Altamonte
Prosecutors said Courtney supplied the bat and
convinced her 20-year old boyfriend, Michael Morin, to use it.
"She set it outside the room for Michael. She got a
change of clothes for Michael, so he wouldn't get his own clothes
bloody, and then she sent him in to do her dirty work," said
prosecutor Jim Carter.
The defense did not offer an opening statement to the
At the time of the crime, Courtney Schulhoff told
police her father had beaten her.
Trial to begin in Seminole
A teen goes to court today in the
2004 baseball-bat beating death of her father
By Renee Stutzman -
September 25, 2006
Courtney Schulhoff was just 16 years old, but she grew very angry at
her father when he cut off access to his credit cards.
Michael Lawrence Morin, then a 20-year-old car thief and fugitive,
also was angry at Courtney's father, Steven Schulhoff, 48. Courtney
told Morin her father had just beaten her, according to investigative
Steven Schulhoff's skull was beaten with a Louisville Slugger baseball
bat, then his body was stuffed inside a big plastic garbage can and
left at the scene of the crime -- his Altamonte Springs apartment.
A grand jury
indicted Courtney Schulhoff and Morin on charges of premeditated
murder in the Feb. 10, 2004, slaying.
goes on trial. Prosecutors wanted to seek the death penalty, according
to Assistant State Attorney Jim Carter, but Schulhoff is too young.
plan to ask for the death penalty when Morin goes on trial. It's not
clear when that will be.
It's also not
clear whether Morin will testify against Schulhoff.
his arrest, he told Altamonte Springs police that Steven Schulhoff had
found out that his daughter was using his credit cards for online
purchases, so he cut her off, according to state records.
Morin also told
police that Courtney's father mentally and physically abused his
daughter, and forbade the young couple to see each other.
her father killed, Morin said, but he tried to talk her out of it.
But after she
placed the baseball bat outside her father's bedroom door, Morin said
he walked inside and picked it up.
Then he blacked
out, he told police. When he came to, he was still in the apartment
but covered with blood, and Steven Schulhoff was dead. Morin rolled
the body in a blanket and put it in the garbage can, he told police.
to police was different; both agree that she was not in the apartment
when Morin grabbed the bat.
She told police
that her father beat her two days before the slaying and that she and
Morin plotted to kill him. They wanted to use a gun but couldn't
afford one, she said.
She said she
talked Morin out of the slaying, but when they went to the apartment,
Morin grew angry again. She left to walk the dog, she said, and when
she returned 20 minutes later, her father was dead.
arrested later that day. He had Steven Schulhoff's wallet, car keys
and cell phone.
accompanied by her mother, surrendered the same day.
had been hit at least three times, suffering massive injuries to the
left side of his head, according to former Volusia County Medical
Examiner Thomas Beaver.
Jury selection begins Monday. The
trial is expected to conclude by the end of the week.
And Boyfriend Charged With Killing Dad
year old Altamonte Springs girl and her 20 year old boyfriend face
first-degree murder charges after allegedly beating the girl's father
to death with a baseball bat.
body of Steven Schulhoff was found at his condo Tuesday. Schulhoff's
daughter Courtney and boyfriend Michael Morin of Orlando are now in
Courtney Schulhoff has told investigators her father beat her Sunday,
prompting her and Morin to come up with a plan to kill him.
in the custody of juvenile authorities, while Morin is in the Seminole
County jail without bond.
teen says she left to walk her father's dog early Tuesday and returned
about 20 minutes later to find Morin with blood on his clothes and a
baseball bat on the ground near the front door.
says Morin told her he had "taken care of the problem" and would kill
her if she told anyone.
Courtney Schulhoff pinned the blame on her boyfriend, Morin has told
investigators he tried to talk her out of killing her father.
Seminole County Grand Jury Indicts Two
in Murder of Steven
March 2, 2004
The Seminole County Grand Jury issued first-degree
premeditated murder indictments today against Courtney Christine
Schulhoff, 16, and Michael Lawrence Morin, 20, in the bludgeoning
death Feb. 10, 2004 of Courtney’s father, Steven Schulhoff.
The grand jury heard from four law enforcement
witnesses and one lay witness before returning the indictment, said
Assistant State Attorney Pat Whitaker. Both defendants are being held
in the Seminole County Jail.
Courtney Schulhoff was indicted as an adult and will
face the murder charge in adult court.
Girl Arrested After Dad Beaten To Death With Bat
Pair Reportedly Confess To Role In Man's Death
February 11, 2004
ALTAMONTE SPRINGS -- A 16-year-old girl and her boyfriend have
been charged with murder after the girl's 48-year-old father was found
beaten to death with a baseball bat, according to Local 6 News.
Investigators pieced together Wednesday what they believe happened
inside Steven Schulhoff's Crane's Roost Village condominium before the
man was murdered, Local 6 News reported.
According to suspects Courtney Schulhoff, and Michael Morin, 20,
Schulhoff beat his daughter after he found out she had been using his
credit cards. That beating apparently prompted the girl and Morin to
develop a murder plan, Local 6 News reporter Nancy Alvarez said.
believe Morin carried out the plan and beat Steven Schuloff to death
with a baseball bat.
Authorities said that a friend discovered the Schulhoff's body Tuesday
at the Crane's Roost Village condominium located at 630 Crane's Way,
near the Altamonte Mall. The friend also noticed his daughter and
Morin leaving the condo and called police.
chased the pair after spotting them in the area. The chase went
through the Renaissance Shopping Center, into the Pier 1 store and
finally into a movie theatre.
nabbed Morin at the movie theatre and the girl later turned herself
have admitted to some involvement in the man's death, according to a
Local 6 News report.
are still searching for two people who reportedly gave Courtney
Schulhoff a ride from the mall to help them piece together a timeline
of the alleged crime.