An Ohio teen responsible for killing three students and wounding three more in 2012, appealed his case to the the 11th District Court of Appeals, only to have it be unequivocally denied on Monday. The teen contends that because he was a minor at the time of the murders, he should not have received a sentence of life without parole.
The tragic shooting occurred at Chardon High School in northeast Ohio on Feb. 27, 2012, at the hands of T.J. Lane. A small panel of three judges, unanimously determined that the sentence handed down to Lane should be sustained, stating that it did not constitute cruel and unusual punishment. While Lane’s attorneys argued that it was unconstitutional to have the teen transferred to adult court, the court felt otherwise, and the claim was rejected.
The 19-year-old previously pled guilty to three counts of aggravated murder, two counts of attempted aggravated murder and felonious assault. Last April, Lane filed an appeal to have his sentence and conviction in the Geauga County Common Please Court overturned.
Lane was 17 when he pulled the trigger, taking the lives of Danny Parmertor, 16, Demetrius Hewlin, 16, and Russell King Jr., 17. He also wounded Nick Walczak, 18, Nate Mueller, 17 and Joy Rickers, 19.
Judge Cynthia Westcott Rice wrote a 36-page ruling, outlining the facts and detailing the specifics regarding the shooting. These included Lane’s interviews, which were never disclosed or admitted in court prior to this occasion.
“He said he does not have problems with anyone and was not upset with anyone,” according to the court’s ruling. “He said that no one had bullied him. This was just something he chose to do.”
During his sentencing in March 2013, Lane smirked and made obscene gestures toward the victims’ families. He also donned a t-shirt with the word “killer” scrawled across the front when he attended the court proceedings.
A snippet of Monday’s ruling read, “In any event, we cannot agree with appellant’s argument that this case is not sufficiently serious to warrant consecutive sentences. Appellant did not act on impulse, on provocation, or under pressure from peers or adults. To the contrary, he planned this attack weeks in advance before he went to school that day with a loaded gun. He shot three young students to death. He shot another student several times, confining him to a wheelchair and subjecting him to a life of pain and disability. Appellant also brought indescribable pain, grief, and lifelong tragedy to the victims’ families.”
The teen is said to have taken a .22-caliber pistol, as well as a knife, to school that fateful day in February, where upon, he proceeded to fire off 10 shots directly into a group of students gathered in the school cafeteria, prosecutors said at Lane’s sentencing.
Lane attended a nearby alternative school for students who have failed to achieve success in the traditional school settings for one reason or another. He was waiting for his bus transportation at Chardon, when he made the unfortunate decision to walk into the cafeteria and carry out his deadly assault.
Ohio Teen Denied Appeal in 2012 Fatal Shootings