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Per a ruling by Geauga County Juvenile Court Judge Timothy Grendell on yesterday, seventeen year old TJ Lane will be tried as an adult in the school shooting deaths of three Chardon High School students. This conclusion was met following a hearing in which a sheriff’s deputy described how Lane had worn a T-shirt with the word “KILLER” printed on the front during the fatal February 27th shooting and admitted to having just “killed a bunch of people” upon apprehension. During an interview conducted by Sheriff’s deputy John Bilicik, Lane was pressed for a motive to which he responded, “I have no idea. I don’t really understand it myself.” At the time, he had no idea how many people he shot; he said that he was aiming for heads so they wouldn’t have to suffer. Bullying has been ruled out as a possible factor. “No one pissed me off,” Lane said. “I have no problem with people.”
Also during this hearing, details revealed that there are 54 cameras in and around Chardon High School. Camera 13 in the cafeteria caught the deadly shooting rampage on film. Media was ordered to leave the courtroom and did not see the footage. Prosecutors called the video “disturbing” and “graphic,” adding that it could “prejudice a potential jury at this point” if the media saw and released it.
Lane could get a life sentence if he is convicted; the state of Ohio does not allow minors to receive the death penalty. Had his case been routed to juvenile court, the maximum possible penalty would have kept him jailed until he turned 21. He will be held in the juvenile detention center until at least June 8th, giving attorneys time to file paperwork.