Accused Ohio high school shooter pleads not guilty by reason of insanity

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 01, 2012 10:47 PM
Accused Ohio high school shooter pleads not guilty by reason of insanity

By Kim Palmer

CLEVELAND (Reuters) - The high school student charged in a shooting rampage that left three boys dead and three others wounded in rural Ohio changed his plea to not guilty by reason of insanity on Monday, his lawyer said.

Ian Friedman, an attorney for 18-year-old T.J. Lane, told Reuters he filed paperwork with the Geauga County courthouse amending his client's not guilty plea to not guilty for reason of insanity.

Monday was a deadline set by Judge David Fuhry for the new plea.

Lane has undergone months of psychiatric evaluation in preparation for the plea. His attorneys previously told the court that he suffers from migraines and auditory and visual hallucinations.

Prosecutors say that Lane confessed to bringing a .22-caliber pistol to school in Chardon, Ohio, on February 27, shooting randomly and eventually killing Demetrius Hewlin, 16; Russell King Jr., 17; and Daniel Parmertor, 16.

He is also charged with the attempted murder of Nick Walczak, 18, who was left paralyzed from the waist down, and two count of felonious assault for injuries to two other students.

Lane, who turned 18 years old last month, will be tried as an adult although he was 17 years old at the time of the crime. He faces a maximum sentence of life in prison but is not eligible for the death penalty.

A trial date has been scheduled for November 26 when Judge Fuhry ruled last month that he will attempt to seat a local jury in the small town of Chardon before ruling on a request for change of venue from Lane's defense attorneys.

(Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Lisa Shumaker)