CHARDON, Ohio – The accused Chardon High School shooter was excused from a court proceeding on Monday after the unexpected death of his half-brother. T.J. Lane’s lawyer said his client was devastated by the loss.
"He, himself, is just in absolute shock over what has occurred and we would not have a client who is mentally able to hear what is going on this morning,” said Ian Friedman, Lane’s attorney.
Adam Nolan, 19, a Chardon resident, was found unresponsive Saturday inside a residence in Burton Township, according to the Geauga County Sheriff’s Office. Nolan was taken to a local hospital and pronounced dead. The coroner is still determining a cause of death.
Lane, 18, is accused of fatally shooting three students and wounding three others at Chardon High School on February 27. He has remained in custody since he was arrested after the shootings.
According to Friedman, the accused gunman made statements to police following his arrest which Friedman hopes to have thrown out of court. Monday’s hearing was rescheduled for December 6 at 9 a.m.
Over the next few weeks, students at the school where Lane is accused of going on his violent rampage will be working on plans to mark the one-year anniversary of the day. "We're trying to get as much input from our staff and students and our parents, as to what kind of memorial day they'd like to see," said Ellen Ondrey from Chardon Schools.
The district is planning a community-wide “day of caring” that will likely involve other schools, churches and community members. "During the crisis, we had such profound support from across Ohio and particularly, neighboring school districts and things, so we want to figure out a way to give back,” said Ondrey.
Jack Pentek is a lifelong Chardon resident who said that day forever changed the community. "I don't know, it just seems like everybody's more friendly and watching out for their neighbors and the neighborhoods and stuff like that, I just think it knitted everybody closer together."
Lane has already entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity. His lawyer is now deciding whether to file a motion seeking permission for T.J. to pay his respects.