Ohio school shooting suspect T.J. Lane is mentally competent to stand trial for the deadly rampage that left three students dead, a judge ruled today.
Lane, 17, is accused of shooting five students at Chardon High School on Feb. 27. Three students – Russell King Jr., Demetrius Hewlin and Daniel Parmertor – died from their wounds.
Prosecutors allege that Lane went to the school with a .22 caliber handgun and a knife. He shot four students in the cafeteria and one in the hallway before leaving the school. He was detained by police within a mile of the school.
The motive for the rampage has remained unclear, though students told ABC News that one of the students killed was Lane’s ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend.
Geauga County Judge Timothy Grendell said competency was defined by law was “a child’s ability to understand the nature and objectives of the proceeding against the child and to assist in the child’s defense.”
Grendell listened to the prosecution, defense and psychiatrist Dr. Phillip Resnick, who conducted a six-hour interview with Lane on April 2, before making his decision.
“It’s my opinion, he does suffer from a mental disorder, but that mental disorder does not currently interfere with the functions necessary for his competence to stand trial,” Resnick said.
Resnick did not elaborate on what type of mental disorder Lane suffers from.
Lane wore a bright blue shirt for his court appearance and remained solemn during the discussions. His grandparents, who are his guardians, were present for the hearing.
Lane has been charged with three counts of aggravated murder, two counts of attempted aggravated murder and one count of felonious assault.
A probable cause hearing is scheduled for May 24, at which point the judge could decide if Lane will be tried as an adult.