Teen pleads not guilty in Ohio school shootings
CHARDON, Ohio -- A teenager pleaded not guilty Friday in the fatal shootings of three students and the wounding of threein a high school cafeteria in suburban Cleveland.
During his first court appearance since being indicted this week on charges of aggravated murder, attempted aggravated murder and felonious assault, T.J. Lane, 17, told a judge that he understands the charges.
Lane will be tried as an adult in the Feb. 27 shootings at Chardon High School. He could face life in prison if convicted.
Geauga County Common Pleas Judge Forrest Burt set Lane's bond at $1 million.
Prosecutors have said Lane has admitted taking a .22-caliber pistol and a knife to the high school and firing 10 shots at a group of students sitting at a cafeteria table at the start of the school day. A sheriff's deputy testified at a hearing in May that Lane was wearing a T-shirt with the word "Killer" when he was found about a mile from the school.
Killed in the attacks were Demetrius Hewlin, 16; Russell King Jr., 17; and Daniel Parmertor, 16.
Lane's attorneys, who have been under a gag order, have not said what their defense strategy will be at trial. A message was left yesterday with Mark DeVan, one of his attorneys.
Questions about Lane's competency have come up at earlier hearings.
A judge said in May that Lane is mentally competent to stand trial in juvenile court. A psychiatrist who examined Lane testified that the teen sometimes loses touch with reality and suffers from hallucinations, psychosis and fantasies.
The psychiatrist said none of the symptoms would prevent Lane from understanding the case against him and helping in his defense.