TJ Lane to plead in Chardon school shooting

8:46 AM, Feb 26, 2013   |    comments
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CHARDON --- As Chardon prepares to mark 1-year since a deadly shooting at the high school, it has been confirmed that the accused teenage gunman intends to plead guilty at a hearing today.

T.J. Lane is charged in the deaths of three students and the wounding of three others in a shooting inside the Chardon cafeteria on Feb. 27, 2012.

Even attorneys can't say whether the 1-year mark played a role in Lane's decision to plead guilty to all charges.

Geauga County Common Pleas Judge David Fuhry postponed Lane's trial from January and re-set tomorrow's court date as a status hearing to set a new date.

Now instead, the two sides will meet in court to allow a court-ordered psychiatric exam to be admitted into evidence. Lane has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity and has been diagnosed as schizophrenic.

The two sides are then expected to meet behind closed doors after which Lane is expected to plead guilty to three counts of aggravated murder, two counts of attempted aggravated murder and one count of felonious assault.

Lane, now 18, was 17 at the time of the shootings. He is being tried as an adult but will not face the possibility of the death penalty.

At the very least, the judge could sentence him to 23 years to life in prison. If they ran the sentences concurrent that would make him eligible for parole when he turns 41 years old. The maximum penalty is life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The judge does not plan to sentence Lane Tuesday. That will come at a later date. Some of the families are said to be preparing impact statements for that sentencing date.


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