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Courts and Crime

Chardon High School shooter pleads guilty
T.J. Lane will be sentenced in three weeks

Kevin Niedermier
In The Region:

T. J. Lane has admitted he killed three students and wounded three others in the Chardon High School cafeteria a year ago.  Today (Tue.), the now 18-year-old Lane changed his plea from not guilty by reason of insanity to guilty. He’s to be sentenced March 19th.

During an appearance in Geauga County Common Pleas Court, Judge David Fuhry asked Lane if he understood the consequences his guilty plea.

Judge and Lane discuss the change

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"You understand that if a sentence of life without parole is imposed, you will remain in prison until your own death?"
"Do you have any belief that if you receive life without parole, that you would be released before you die?
"Do you understand that as a part of your sentence, you may be ordered to make restitution and pay court costs?"

Lane’s attorneys say they do not support his change of plea. Prosecutors say the agreement reaches the same conclusion a jury would have reached. 

Lane is facing three life sentences with no chance for parole. He can’t receive the death penalty because he was under 18 when the shootings occurred.  

Tomorrow, the Chardon community will commemorate the shooting’s one-year anniversary with a student march to the town square and a candlelight vigil.  

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