Extension Granted for Lane’s Change of Plea at Pre-Trial Hearing
CHARDON, Ohio — The legal team of accused killer T.J. Lane will receive additional time to support their claim that Lane was insane at the time of the shootings at Chardon High School in late February.
At a pre-trial hearing on Monday morning Lane entered the court appearing slightly disheveled and sat along side his attorney Mark Devan.
Lane appeared in court around 11:35 a.m., over 90 minutes later than had been anticipated due to discussions between Lane’s defense team and Geauga County prosecutors in the chambers of Judge David Fuhry.
Fuhry said in court that the discussions centered around the potential change in plea that Lane’s defense team will seek.
Devan asked that Sept. 30th be set as the date for which the defense team presents all testing that would support their change of plea from not guilty to not guilty by reason of insanity.
Devan told the court that his team needs additional time and testing for the visual and auditory hallucinations that Devan claims Lane suffers.
Fuhry had previously set today as the date for all results of the tests to be presented to the court.
Fuhry granted an extension, citing October 1st as the date which all information will be presented on the change in plea.
Lane is the only individual arrested and charged in the murders of Daniel Parmertor, 16, Demetrius Hewlin, 17, and Russell King, Jr., 17, as they waited in the school cafeteria to catch a bus to a vocational school on Feb. 27.
Lane is also accused of wounding students Joy Rickers and Nick Walczak.
After the extension had been granted Fuhry asked both prosecutors and the defense to provide a date when they feel Lane’s trial could begin.
Geauga County Prosecuting Attorney David Joyce said his team is ready to present their case immediately if necessary but, citing today’s developments, suggested November 12, 2012 as a start date.
Lane’s defense team agreed and Fuhry said he would take the suggestions into consideration before setting an official start date.
As they have for all other pre-trial hearing, T.J. Lane’s grandparents sat emotionless in the back of the courtroom. They sat with their eyes forward, on Judge Fuhry and their grandchild, never making eye contact with others in the room.
The families of several victims sat two rows behind Lane’s grandparents. No one spoke a word that could be heard in court at any point prior to being dismissed from the courtroom shortly after 12:00 p.m.
***Read Fox8.com Reporter Dan Jovic’s LIVE Blog Below***
12:00 a.m. — Today’s pre-trial hearing ultimately resulted is a granting of an extension for the defense to present evidence regarding their desired change of plea, and a possible trail date being considered.
11:56 a.m. — The family of TJ Lane just left the courtroom. His grandparents were escorted out by deputies from a door at the front of the room. Family members of the victims were seated in rows behind Lane’s family. The victims family members were escorted from the courtroom via a second door to the courtroom.
11:53 a.m. — Judge Fuhry says that the records of Lane’s psychiatric testing will remain sealed to the public, but prosecutors will be able to look at the records if they file a written request to see the information. Fuhry says that prosecutors have 10 days to file that request.
11:50 a.m. — Judge Fuhry says that October 1st, not September 30th, will be the date that Lane’s defense team must present information that would support their change of plea.
11:49 a.m. — Fox 8′s Melissa Reid captured the image below of Lane being led into court.
11:45 a.m. — Both prosecutors and the defense say that November 12th would be a date that they could begin presenting their cases. Judge Fuhry says he will take the date suggested into consideration, but did not set a concrete date for the trial to begin.
11:41 a.m. — Judge Fuhry has granted an extension to the defense team. Fuhry has set Sept. 30th as the deadline for the defense to provide all information which support their change of plea.
11:39 a.m. – Devan has asked that Sept. 30th be set as the date for which the defense team presents all testing that would support their change of plea from not guilty to not guilty by reason of insanity.
11:36 a.m. — Judge Fuhry is discussing the pre-trial discussions held with Lane’s defense team and Geauga County prosecutors. Devan is telling Judge Fuhry that Lane needs additional testing for the visual and auditory hallucinations that he allegedly suffers from.
11:35 a.m. — Lane has entered the courtroom escorted by two deputies from the Geauga County Sheriff’s Dept.
11:33 a.m. — TJ Lane has yet to enter the courtroom.
11:28 a.m. — Lane’s defense team as well as the families of the victims have also entered the courtroom.
11:28 a.m. — Prosecutor David Joyce just entered the courtroom.
11:09 a.m. – Lane previously plead not guilty in adult court to all of the charges related to the shootings at Chardon High School in February. Lane is expected to change that plea to not guilty by reason of insanity.
10:54 a.m. — We, members of the media, are currently seated in the jury box. There are 14 people seated in the box. Law enforcement officials who had been seated in the back of the courtroom have moved out into the hallway. It does not appear that the court proceeding will be getting underway prior to 11:00 a.m.
10:51 a.m. — Court administrators for Judge Fuhry have come and gone from the courtroom numerous times this morning since I arrived at 9:30 a.m., but I have yet to see the bailiff for Judge Fuhry or Judge Fuhry himself in the courtroom.
10:37 a.m. — On Friday TJ Lane’s attorneys filed a change of venue motion to have the case moved from Geauga County. Lane’s legal team, Ian Friedman & Mark Devan, are arguing that their client can not have a jury that is unbiased in Geauga County due to the mass exposure that this case has received.
10:20 a.m. — Court proceedings have yet to get underway, we have been told that both the defense and prosecutors are in the quarters of Judge David L. Fuhry having preliminary discussions.
CHARDON, Ohio — The teen accused of opening fire inside Chardon High School, killing three students and wounding three others, will appear in court this morning.
A pretrial hearing for T.J. Lane, 17, is scheduled at 10 a.m. in the Geauga County Common Pleas Court. He has pleaded not guilty in adult court to charges of aggravated murder, attempted aggravated murder and felonious assault.
On Friday, Lane’s attorneys filed a “change of venue” motion, claiming their client cannot get a fair trial in Geauga County. It was not immediately clear if that issue would be addressed in today’s hearing.
Prosecutors say Lane walked into Chardon High School and fatally shot classmates Daniel Parmertor, 16, Demetrius Hewlin, 17, and Russell King Jr., 17, as they waited in the school cafeteria to catch a bus on the morning of Feb. 27.
The teen is also accused of wounding students Joy Rickers, Nick Walczak and Nate Mueller.
If convicted, Lane faces the possibility of life in prison without parole. His age at the time of the crimes, under Ohio law, prevents him from getting the death penalty.
– For live updates on today’s hearing, follow FOX8.com reporter Dan Jovic as he blogs from court.