CHARDON, Ohio - A juvenile court judge ruled Thursday that a 17-year-old accused of killing three students and seriously wounding two others in a February shooting rampage will be tried as an adult.
In a hearing before the decision, law-enforcement officers told Geauga County (Ohio) Judge Timothy Grendell that suspect T.J. Lane, whom prosecutors have described as a teen with a troubled family background, was wearing a T-shirt with the word "killer" on it when he was arrested.
The officers also said Lane confessed to the shootings, telling them he purposely fired at his victims' heads so "they wouldn't suffer." In a hearing earlier this month, Grendell ruled that the teen, who had a psychiatric examination, was competent to stand trial.
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The Geauga County prosecutor has said Lane admitted firing 10 shots Feb. 27 at a group of teens in the cafeteria at 1,100-student Chardon High School, killing Russell King Jr., 17; and Demetrius Hewlin and Daniel Parmertor, both 16. Lane had been charged with three juvenile counts of aggravated murder in connection with those deaths.
Two other students were seriously wounded in this northeast Ohio suburb 30 miles east of Cleveland, and Lane faces two counts of attempted aggravated murder and one count of felonious assault for their injuries.
Grendell cleared the courtroom briefly while security camera video from the shootings was played. An officer who had seen the footage described it as "horrible and gruesome."
Lane faces life in prison if tried and convicted as an adult.