Lane's Mental Health Experts Given Access
Thursday, September 27, 2012
Accused Chardon High School shooter T.J. Lane will be allowed to visit with his mental health experts while incarcerated in the Geauga County Safety Center.
Geauga County Common Pleas Court Judge David Fuhry ordered today that jail staff permit any mental health expert designated by Lane’s attorneys to “visit, consult, examine and test” Lane while he is incarcerated.
Fuhry also said the staff is required to provide “all necessary arrangements” for such experts to conduct any examinations and testing.
Defense counsel must also provide jail staff the names of any mental health experts who visit Lane, the judge further ordered.
On Tuesday, defense counsel Anne Walton filed a motion requesting access to allow “retained defense experts to assist in preparation and presentation of defenses to the charges in the indictment.”
The defense argued such assistance is guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and also Article I of the Ohio Constitution.
The State of Ohio did not oppose the request.
Lane, who turned 18 on Sept. 19, was transferred from the Portage-Geauga County Juvenile Detention Center in Ravenna to the county jail at approximately 9 a.m. Monday.
His attorneys have until Monday to enter a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity.
On Sept. 5, Fuhry gave the state access to non-privileged information in Lane’s detention center records it had previously requested.
However, in a separate ruling this morning, Fuhry said the court had not yet reviewed those records in light of a potential insanity defense.
“If the defendant files a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity (NGRI), it creates an issue as to what, if any, privileged material shall be released to the state,” Fuhry wrote.
In the event Lane enters a plea of NGRI, Fuhry gave both parties time to argue whether Lane had waived any privilege in those records by pleading insanity.
Fuhry also issued an order releasing and transferring all Lane’s medical and mental health records as well as any records regarding housing and behavior from the detention center to the safety center.
The safety center is to maintain those records under seal until further court order, the judge said.
Prosecutors had argued the safety center needed access to the records in order to “evaluate, process, treat and continue the care of (Lane) in the Geauga County Safety Center.”
The defense did not oppose the release and transfer.
Lane is accused of entering the Chardon High School cafeteria Feb. 27 and shooting six students with a .22 caliber pistol. Three students died and three others were injured, including one student who is paralyzed from the chest down.
Lane was indicted June 5 on three counts of aggravated murder, two counts of attempted aggravated murder and one count of felonious assault, with all counts carrying a firearm specifications.
He is being tried as an adult and faces a maximum penalty of life in prison without parole if convicted.
His trial is set to begin Nov. 26.