Charges filed in December death of UVa student in Dominica - The Daily Progress: News

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Charges filed in December death of UVa student in Dominica

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Posted: Thursday, May 9, 2013 9:33 pm | Updated: 12:44 pm, Fri May 10, 2013.

ROSEAU, Dominica — Authorities charged a Dominica man Thursday with manslaughter in the death of a University of Virginia student struck by a dive boat propeller last winter.

Casey Schulman, 22, of Falls Church was hit by the boat in December as she swam in waters just off a beach where her classmates were relaxing.

More than six months later, police in Dominica arrested and charged local hotel owner Andrew Armour, who was the captain of the boat. He was apparently moving the vessel in reverse when he hit Schulman.

The fourth-year University of Virginia student was visiting the Caribbean nation with more than 50 other students as part of the school's Semester at Sea program.

Schulman's friends and family remembered her afterward as an outgoing, selfless person whose smile could light up a room.

Schulman, an international affairs major, had been looking forward to the semester abroad as a way to see the world, Karen Hess, Schulman’s aunt, said in December.

“She emailed lengthy, lengthy descriptions of her travels and adventures and friends, and they were always upbeat and filled with enthusiasm and excitement,” Hess said. “Every port was the best, I’m not kidding. … We would all laugh at that.”

Katie Dorset, a fellow UVa student, said Schulman could buoy spirits even in dire circumstances. Dorset recalled in December a moment over Thanksgiving when Schulman comforted her friends as they suffered mosquito repellent poisoning under nets in the Amazon.

"We were all in pain, but Casey was there, ignoring her own pain and helping the rest of us try to forget that our faces felt as if they were on fire,” said Dorset, Schulman’s Semester at Sea roommate.

Schulman’s mother declined to comment Thursday.

Founded in 1963 and currently sponsored by UVa, Semester at Sea is a 12- to 15-credit program that takes students around the world on a 590-foot ship.

Classes are conducted by professors chosen from universities around the country. UVa provides an academic dean and registrar for each of the program’s three annual voyages.

The University of Virginia has been the academic sponsor of Semester at Sea since December 2006, a spokeswoman said. Before that, the program was sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh.

Armour was not required to make a plea Thursday. He is due back in court next week.

The Daily Progress contributed to this story.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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