CLEVELAND (Reuters) - A 17-year-old student has been indicted by an Ohio grand jury on charges that he killed three students and wounded three others in a high school cafeteria rampage last February in a small city east of Cleveland.
The indictment of T.J. Lane was date stamped Monday by the Geauga County court clerk’s office. Geauga County Prosecuting Attorney David Joyce and defense attorneys Ian Friedman and Mark DeVan could not be reached for comment.
In May, an Ohio juvenile court judge ruled that Lane would be charged as an adult in the attack a Chardon High School. As a minor, Lane could face up to life in prison if convicted, but not the death penalty.
At the May hearing, a Geauga County sheriff’s deputy testified that he saw Lane sitting by the side of the road soon after the shooting and that Lane had told him he had aimed for the victims’ heads because he did not want them to suffer.
The deputy testified that Lane had a handgun and a knife when he saw him and that after reading his rights Lane admitted to the shootings.
The indictment charges Lane with aggravated murder in the killings of Demetrius Hewlin, 16; Russell King, 17; and Daniel Parmertor, 16. He also was charged with two counts of attempted aggravated murder and one of felonious assault. These are the same charges Lane faced in juvenile court.
Lane’s arraignment has been scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Friday before Judge Forrest Burt in Geauga County Court.
Prosecutors have said that Lane randomly fired 10 shots from a .22-caliber pistol at students sitting at a table in the cafeteria. His motive is unclear.
Defense attorneys argued in May that Lane suffered from a mental problem, and that he had not knowingly or purposefully committed the shootings and would be better served by being tried in juvenile court.
Reporting by Kim Palmer; Writing by David Bailey