Calm and subdued, Ohio school shooting suspect faces judge

T.J. Lane, the suspect in the Feb. 27 shooting at Chardon High School that left three students dead and three wounded, told the judge Tuesday he understood the charges against him.

Tony Dejak/Reuters
T.J. Lane looks at his attorney Mark Lavelle (l.) during a juvenile court hearing to determine whether he will be tried as an adult for the shooting of three students at Chardon High School in Chardon, Ohio, Tuesday.

He looked calm and spoke in subdued tones.

"Yes, sir."

"I understand."

With those words, 17-year-old T.J. Lane – the suspect in the shooting spree that left three high school students dead and three wounded on Feb. 27 – told an Ohio judge Tuesday that he understood the charges against him and the judicial process ahead.

Lane said he understood when Juvenile Judge Tim Grendell said the case could be moved to an adult court, because of his age and the nature of the charges against him.

The shootings at Chardon High School near Cleveland left a community in mourning.

Family members of several victims were in the courtroom as Lane listened to the judge with little change in his facial expression. The youth wore an olive-green dress shirt and sat next to his attorney.

Lane is charged with three counts of aggravated murder, two counts of attempted aggravated murder, and one count of felonious assault. He did not enter a plea Tuesday.

Judge Grendell set a new date for a probable-cause hearing, which will help determine if the case is moved to an adult court. The hearing is postponed, Grendell said, from March 19 to April 3 because two new attorneys have joined the defense team.

The judge informed Lane of his basic rights during trial, such as the right to cross-examine witnesses, to appeal a verdict, and to avoid taking the witness stand himself.

Prosecutor David Joyce says Lane has admitted taking a .22-caliber pistol and a knife to Chardon High School on Feb. 27 and firing 10 shots at a group of students sitting at a cafeteria table.

Mr. Joyce has said victims were selected at random and that Lane is someone "who's not well."

If the case is moved to adult court, Lane could face life in prison. Minors are not eligible for the death penalty in Ohio, whether they are convicted as juveniles or adults.

Lane attends an alternative school for students who haven't done well in traditional schools.

The funerals for the three students began Saturday and continued Tuesday, with the final one scheduled for Thursday.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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