Court Appearance Today For Ohio Shooting Suspect T.J. Lane

Update: The Prosecutor confirms there was no bullying and no drugs were involved. Lane chose his victims randomly. He's just someone who is "not well."

"He chose his victims at random. This is not about bullying. This is not about drugs," Joyce said. "This is someone who's not well, and I'm sure in our court case we'll prove that to all of your desires and we'll make sure justice is done here in this county."

Three of the students shot in the cafeteria of Chardon High School in Ohio have died.

The suspect, T.J. Lane, will have a court hearing this afternoon in juvenile court.

The attorney for T.J. Lane's family has issued this statement apologizing to the community and identified Lane by name. He also said Lane had "pretty impressive" grades, had doubled up on some classes and planned to graduate early this May. He said he was quiet but did have friends. It's not clear why Lane was attending an alternative school. [More...]

Other students have denied earlier accounts Lane was "bullied." His early family life was "tumultuous". His parents divorced when he was 7 and both were earlier charged with domestic violence when he was 2. His father remarried and spent 9 months in jail over a domestic violence incident involving the woman who became his second wife and with whom he had three children.

Some students say he was distraught over a recent romantic break-up and one of the students shot may have been dating his former girlfriend. That hasn't been firmly established.

A Twitter photo of a teen holding guns many news media outlets anxious to report news labeled as being TJ Lane has turned out to be someone else.

The people who knew him say they are shocked. It seems those who are just repeating what they "heard" (without first-hand information) are the ones coming out with the bullying stories. The media is grasping at straws. MSNBC played a video of an interview with a student two grades ahead who had met him once.

In any event, as of now, there is no established motive for the shootings. Those following media reports would do well to separate out the gossip being reported as fact from real facts and ignore the former.

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  • Display: Sort:
    I Agree With All of It, but... (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 02:39:48 PM EST
    ...it doesn't answer the question of why it didn't happen say 20 or 30 years ago.  My dad had a bunch of guns, half of them didn't have safeties.  And I don't even know if there was such a thing as a gun lock back then and ammo was next to the guns.  We were free to take them anytime.

    My point is guns were not locked up anywhere, not just my home, and as much as I want some real gun control, in this case it to me doesn't answer the question.  Which is why are people, not just kids, so free to kill other people when in most cases, these are suicides.  Why their families, their neighbors, and unknown people ?

    There is something going on, and I think his quote about wanting to control people is the root of it, he wanted to show everyone just how powerful he is, how crossing him was a huge mistake and will never be forgotten.  Or something along those lines...  I just don't know or get it.

    If this was about a girl, why not go after the kid outside, why the publicity stunt ?

    I wonder if now (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by CST on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 03:14:06 PM EST
    it's almost become a vicious cycle.

    Kid sees other kids shooting up a school and they get the idea to do it to.  It use to never happen, and then it kind of happened in a wave.  Throw in the media bomb and what never occurred to someone before all of a sudden is occuring to a bunch of troubled kids.


    Anyone know what kind of meds (none / 0) (#8)
    by jondee on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 03:10:21 PM EST
    if any, the kid was taking?

    The reason I ask is that it seems as though in a high % of these school shooting cases, the shooter was already on some form of "behavior med".

    "A small number of people taking....may experience having homocidal thoughts.."?

    I can't help remarking that these shooting incidents seemed to start increasing at around the same time that Big Pharm started very aggressively marketing their wares to kids and their parents.


    Are you sure? (none / 0) (#14)
    by Towanda on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 07:44:04 PM EST
    I read a report after one of these school shootings a few years ago that tallied the school shootings for the last century or so.  There were many, many of them across the country, but media were more likely to only report them locally.

    It was a shocking report.  Should have been comforting, I suppose, to know that this is not new to our era, but -- it was shocking to know that we have had so long to figure out how to fix this but refuse to do so.


    I Would Love to Read It (none / 0) (#16)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Feb 29, 2012 at 09:05:38 AM EST
    That would actually explain a lot.

    The family of (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Zorba on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 05:53:12 PM EST
    one of the victims, Demetrius Hewlin, donated his organs, eyes, and tissues. What a profoundly generous and wonderful thing this family has done in the midst of their grief.  I was moved to tears.  Their statement:  
    "We are very saddened by the loss of our son and others in our Chardon community. Demetrius was a happy young man who loved life and his family and friends. We will miss him very much but we are proud that he will be able to help others through organ donation. We ask that you respect our privacy during this difficult time."  

    You've nailed it, Donald (4.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Zorba on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 02:09:50 PM EST
    If you're going to keep guns at home and you have children at home (and I would extend this to children under 18, not 16), you keep those unloaded guns in a secure, locked gun safe, and you keep the ammo secured in a different place.  In fact, we do this with our guns anyway, even without kids at home.  There is no reason that a child should be able to get his hands on a gun to bring it to school, in the first place.  

    I don't disagree about gun control (4.00 / 1) (#5)
    by ZtoA on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 02:22:24 PM EST
    but... I had a relative who murdered a number of people back in the 60's. It also made national news. Guns are not necessary for murder. He was a bit older than this young man, but at the same age, 17, started to exhibit symptoms of schizophrenia. The family was not even in denial about it, and he was getting the state of the art treatment of the day which was shock treatment. The murders devastated the family. The parents were blamed by many and all of the extended family suffered. So, there was a "conversation" about are the parents to blame. Its not a hard question to ask, but rather seems to be a judgement that many people simply default to.

    Again, I agree with you about gun control policy (none / 0) (#15)
    by ZtoA on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 08:30:45 PM EST
    Honestly we just don't know much about this young man. Probably never will. We will most likely know more about the victims by the time this story burns out as national news. But let me assure you, there is collateral damage to those who were the murder's family and friends. They will be viewed as damaged. If he has a little sister or even first cousins, for example, when can she go out where her story is not "she is the sister of that murderer"? How about a big brother? Is he to blame? Did he do "enough" for him?

    The first thing people do is round up the usual suspects -- guns, parents, shooting video games, manufacturers of kitchen knives other blades and guns, violent movies, social media, bullying, meds, broken heart, and so on. Hey, what if his parents are also mentally ill? - some genetics apply. How about his grandparents? Blame? It seems to be natural to find a blame as soon as possible. I understand people are grieving (in my case among the murdered were also family members). But we just don't know. Believe me, when a 'story' goes national it calls all the vigilantes out. Do you know what is it like to have the 'general public' sitting in judgement of several relatives and by extension your extended family? No one really has much time for introspection - at least not for several years. At first it is just survival.

    I guess I'm testy about this subject, and normally, in polite society would never open my mouth about it (besides being literally trained not to ever speak about it), but this is a criminal defense blog and I'm just a voice on a blog.


    If they have to separate the facts (none / 0) (#1)
    by Anne on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 01:20:34 PM EST
    from the speculation before doing any "reporting," the media will have little or nothing to say, and if there's nothing to say, then they won't be able to capture the viewers that drive ratings and ad revenue, and well, this is business, Jeralyn, so finances trump facts, always.  Someone's going to be cashing in, and no one wants to be left out of that.  "Exclusive" is the goal - who cares if it's the truth?

    It doesn't help that "everyone" wants to be on the TV, so heaven knows if what people are telling the media bears any resemblance to the truth - but since we already know the media isn't going to do much to verify it before it goes out over the air, it's just pandering to sensationalism.

    I hate it.  All of it.  Which is why I haven't watched or read much about it.  I'm pretty sure that when someone shoots up a cafeteria full of people, something is terribly wrong; why it happened won't bring the dead back to life, or ease the pain the families are feeling or the trauma the kids experienced.

    Interviews (none / 0) (#2)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 01:37:19 PM EST
    If there is one thing to point out how highschoolish the press has become, it's a tragedy.  Kids are getting bullied, good odds so was this kid, let's go with that.  Better to report something that may be true, then report nothing.

    The pres is treating these kids like exhibits and I am very curious at to what parent would let their kid go on TV the day after people they were sitting with are dead.  One kid was friends of one of the dead since kindergarten.

    The second link has Ann Curry interviewing kids.  She is horrible at interviewing and these kids have nothing of value to add.  It's just disturbing to watch everyone fumble through the interviews.  The other link is Savannah Guthrie in Ohio asking a kid stuff like 'how are you coping' and 'do you understand just how you came to ___'.  She can't even say the word.


    I really hope these parents use more discretion in getting these kids some help, this IMO is far too traumatic for them to be on TV the next day.  And the press needs to hire so GD reports, these stenographers are grossly inadequate.

    Family apology? (none / 0) (#7)
    by jbindc on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 03:05:18 PM EST
    Admission of guilt?  Setting up an insanity defense?

    Standard Stuff in School Shootings (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 03:39:52 PM EST
    And what other plea could be offered, he didn't exactly go out of his way to hide the crime and these days, no media intensive defendants pleas guilty.  I wouldn't be surprised to hear it's all on video.

    I can't imagine the family's (which a kid said he was living with his grandma) apology is something a court would consider as evidence.  Certainly not an admission of guilt.


    How about the fact that (none / 0) (#12)
    by jbindc on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 04:10:24 PM EST
    earlier today his own attorney said the kid feels "remorseful"?

    Of course, that kind of statement can hurt an insanity defense.


    He confessed (none / 0) (#17)
    by jbindc on Wed Feb 29, 2012 at 10:27:58 AM EST
    Will automatically be treated as an adult facing 3 counts of homicide and "other charges", according to CNN.