Lawyer: OH school shooting suspect to plead guilty
CHARDON, Ohio (AP) — A teenager charged with killing three students at an Ohio high school a year ago plans to plead guilty, his attorney said Tuesday.
Eighteen-year-old T.J. Lane will enter the plea during a court hearing later Tuesday morning, said attorney Ian Friedman. Friedman declined to discuss the details of the plea deal, which has been in the works for weeks.
Lane’s appearance in a Geauga County courtroom comes one day before the anniversary of the deadly shootings at Chardon High School, east of Cleveland.
Lane had been charged with fatally shooting three students and injuring others.
Both the defense and the prosecution had sought court-ordered psychiatric testing for Lane to determine if he would be competent to stand trial.
Before the case went to adult court last year, a juvenile court judge ruled that Lane was mentally competent despite evidence he suffers from hallucinations, psychosis and fantasies.
Investigators say he admitted shooting at students but said he didn’t know why he did it. Prosecutors say Lane took a .22-caliber pistol and a knife to the school last Feb. 27 and fired 10 shots at a group of students in the cafeteria.
Lane attended an alternative school for students who haven’t done well in traditional schools. He was at Chardon waiting for a bus.
The charges filed against him include three counts of aggravated murder and two counts of attempted aggravated murder.
He faced a maximum sentence of life in prison without parole if convicted. He isn’t eligible for the death penalty because he was 17 at the time of the shootings, even though he was charged as an adult. Friedman said Tuesday he expects Lane to be sentenced in about three weeks.
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