Atty: Negotiations for plea deal in TJ Lane case underway

11:52 PM, Feb 15, 2013   |    comments
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CHARDON -- Attorney Ian Friedman says negotiations are underway for TJ Lane to plead guilty in the Chardon High School shooting case.

Friedman said the intention of the defense is to sign that agreement on February 26. That is the next scheduled hearing in the case and one day before the one-year anniversary of the shootings.

Three students weer killed and three wounded that day.

Geauga County Common Pleas Court Judge David Fuhry already set 9:30 a.m. Feb. 26 for a hearing to set a new trial date for suspected Chardon school shooter TJ Lane.

Lane, then 17, was originally scheduled for trial on Nov. 26, 2012, but that date was continued to Jan. 14, then that date was continued.

Fuhry also previously denied earlier change of venue requests by defense attorneys. He said he could decide later to allow a change of venue if a jury can't be seated.

Voir dire for jury selection was originally set to begin Feb. 4 but Fuhry cancelled that. "Voir dire" is a process by which prospective jurors are questioned about their backgrounds and potential biases before being chosen to sit on a jury.

Fuhry said he thinks an impartial jury can be seated in Chardon and wanted to voir dire the jury before he would even reconsider his previous denial of a change of venue in the case.

Chardon police say Lane entered the cafeteria and opened fire, killing Russell King, Jr., 17, Daniel Parmertor, 16, and Demetrius Hewlin, 16 and wounding Nick Walczak, 17, Joy Rickers, 18 and grazing the ear with a bullet of a sixth person.

Lane faces life in prison if convicted of the multiple counts of aggravated murder because he was 17 when the shootings occured.

He has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.


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