Ohio teens facing murder charges for sandbag throw unlikely to be tried as adults
Toledo, OH (WNWO)--
"I can't just file to file because somebody wants me to file , because there's public outrage because of anything like that. I have to file based on having the evidence to provide it," said Juvenile Prosecutor for Lucas County Lori Olender.
She has a case on her hands that has garnered national attention: Four Toledo teens accused of throwing a sandbag over an i-75 overpass which resulted in the death of a Michigan man.
"Another car came forward and said he got hit because the youth were throwing rocks and other things as well," said Olender.
The case has faced a lot of national criticism, many calling for the youth to be charged as adults. Despite the nature of the crime, Prosecutor Olender says It's unlikely that will happen.
"One is 13, there's no way he will be certified. Ohio law does not allow a child of 13 to be certified."
Before teens can even head into adult court, the Prosecutor's office would have to file a motion for certification- for them to be tried as adults--then show probable cause the teens committed the crime.
"Was a gun involved, was a gang or for hire, did they have a prior record?" said Olender naming off some of the factors Prosecutors consider when thinking of charging youth as adults.
In Ohio, 16-year-olds who commit aggravated or intentional crimes, are often mandatory certifications.
At the time of the crime, three of the boys were 14, and one just 13.
Though she's still mid-investigation, Olender says based on conversations with the detectives the crime wasn't premeditated.
Many also have compared the case to a similar incident in Michigan. Back in October 5 teens accused of throwing rocks from an overpass killed a man.
Those boys are facing adult charges, but are older.
"These youth don't have a prior record, two of them have petty theft and two of them have absolutely nothing," said Olender.
Currently the Ohio teens are facing four charges: Misdemeanor and felony vehicular vandalism and felony assault and murder charges.
"Whatever sentence they end up with whether it's a sentence from juvenile court, that's a sentence that's never going to go away," said Olender.