Nationally Known Psychiatrist Pleads in Gun Threat Case
A nationally known Naples [Florida] child psychiatrist who pointed a gun at his teenage son’s friend, then allegedly threatened his 15-year-old son, pleaded today to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and was sentenced to probation.
Psychiatrist James L Schaller, 50, pleaded no contest to a third-degree felony involving a 14-year-old former neighbor as part of a plea deal that dropped a similar count involving his son, who had tried to intercede during an altercation on Jan. 2. The Daily News is withholding the minors’ names.
Assistant State Attorney James Stewart said the 14-year-old boy and his mother agreed to the plea deal, but have moved to Michigan and couldn’t attend sentencing. Schaller faced up to five years in state prison on each count, but had no prior record.
Standing in a gray suit, with a bandaged hand behind his back, Schaller told the judge it was “definitely” in his best interests not to go to trial. Collier Circuit Judge Fred Hardt then adjudicated him guilty and sentenced him to four years of probation on the condition he undergo a mental health evaluation and not contact the victim.