Criminal Justice

Teen Charged as Juvenile in Ohio School Shooting Murders, Could Still Face Adult Case

A 17-year-old sophomore described by a prosecutor as an individual “who’s not well,” was charged today as a juvenile with multiple murder counts in this week’s Ohio high school shooting.

T.J. Lane could still face adult charges in the Geauga County case, but he would not face the death penalty under any circumstances because of his age, CBS News reports. He is charged with three counts of aggravated murder, two counts of attempted aggravated murder, and one count of felonious assault.

Prosecutor David Joyce, who says he plans to charge Lane as an adult, says the teen admitted taking a 22-caliber pistol and a knife to Chardon High School on Monday morning and firing 10 shots at students sitting at a table in the cafeteria.

The gun allegedly used in the shooting was a Ruger Mark III revolver that a neighbor suspected Lane took from his grandfather’s barn, another CBS News article reports.

Those who thought they knew Lane expressed shock at the crime, saying that he was quiet but had seemed to be doing well at home and in school while living with his grandparents for the past several years.

The teen’s father reportedly had been involved in several domestic violence incidents and had served seven months in prison almost a decade ago. However, he had more recently been visiting the teen and his sister often at their grandparents’ home, neighbors told CBS.

Court documents reveal that Lane himself had been charged as a juvenile in 2009 with an attack on an uncle that included putting him in a choke hold, another CBS News article says.

His only other offense was a traffic ticket, reports the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

The newspaper says that an older brother’s drug addiction brought authorities to the grandparents’ home on multiple occasions. And Lane’s 39-year-old mother, who at times struggled with alcohol abuse, lived at the home periodically with her parents and children. She and Lane’s father, 40, never married.

Lane told authorities when he was charged in 2009 that he had sought to help his older brother, who he thought was being hurt, when he became involved in the altercation with his uncle, the Plain Dealer reports, relying on public records. His uncle was at the grandparents’ home to try to help them deal with the older brother, who was charged at various times with disorderly conduct and other crimes related to his alleged use of prescription drugs and heroin.

An earlier post provides additional details about the shooting:

Teen Suspect in Ohio School Shooting Likely to Face Adult Case, AG Says, But Isn’t Now Charged

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