CHARDON, Ohio--The trial for the accused Chardon High School shooter was delayed for the second time on Monday morning.
T.J. Lane was supposed to stand trial next Monday, January 14th, but Judge David Fuhry from the Geauga County Court of Common Pleas agreed with prosecutors and defense attorneys who requested more time. They will decide on a new date later this month.
"Nobody likes a continuance," said Judge Fuhry. "The cancellation is necessary because the consideration of a decision in this case, based upon all the material evidence, is of paramount importance, in fairness to the parties and to protect the integrity of the process itself."
Lane, 18, is accused of fatally shooting three students and wounding three others at Chardon High School last February 27th. Lane was 17-years-old at the time of the shootings. He is charged as an adult with several counts of aggravated murder, attempted murder and felonious assault.
"The state needs additional time as there are some items that are being forensically analyzed that we have not yet received back reports from that forensic analysis," said newly sworn-in Geauga County Prosecutor Jim Flaiz.
Lane's attorney, Ian Friedman, said the postponement is needed for both sides to prepare for trial. "Upon receipt of all evidence, we will timely evaluate it and move forward but, I agree, at this time without that evidence - neither party - particularly the defense, cannot fairly move forward to trial," said Friedman.
Lane's legal team has suffered a few setbacks in recent weeks. In a ruling last month, Judge Fuhry sided with prosecutors who said statements made by Lane to police should not be blocked from court. Judge Fuhry also ruled in December that recorded conversations between Lane and his relatives at the police station following the shooting would be allowed into evidence.
Daniel Parmertor, 16, Demetrius Hewlin, 17, and Russell King, Jr., 17, were killed in the school cafeteria. Joy Rickers and Nick Walczak were hurt. A sixth student was grazed by a bullet.
"Make him guilty and put him in jail, good God! It's all bullcrap," said Harley Richards from Chardon. Diane Buehner agreed. "We need to bring it together and move on at some point, not forget, of course, but we need to get past it."
Lane has already entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity. If convicted, he faces the possibility of life in prison without parole.
"Everybody says that we should be moving things forward more quickly, but every time we have an emotional setback that's exactly what it does, it sets us back," said Chardon Schools Superintendent Joseph Bergant.
According to Bergant, justice needs to be served but it should happen faster. "It's just not good for anybody, my opinion."
Students at the high school are now finalizing plans to mark the first anniversary of the shooting next month.
*For additional coverage on the Chardon High School shooting, click here