Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Solomon to Be Tried as Adult Accused of Shooting 6 School Classmates

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Solomon to Be Tried as Adult Accused of Shooting 6 School Classmates

Article excerpt

CONYERS -- A judge ruled yesterday that T.J. Solomon, the 15-year-old accused of shooting six classmates at Heritage High School in May, should be tried as an adult.

Juvenile Court Judge William Schneider issued his ruling at the end of a three-day hearing. He ordered the case transferred to Superior Court, where Solomon could face 351 years in prison if convicted of aggravated assault and other charges.

A state investigator testified during the hearing that Solomon left a note referring to the shooting spree at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., that left 15 dead on April 20, exactly a month before the Conyers shooting.

Schneider made note of that in his decision.

"The fact that the child has attempted to copy a heinous and devastating crime through premeditation and deceit makes these actions even more egregious and outrageous demonstrations of disrespect for the safety and the well-being of our community," he said.

"The severity and the viciousness of these offenses make the public's interest in treating the juvenile as an adult paramount to any other interests before the court."

Deputies immediately removed Solomon from the courtroom. He showed no response, not even looking at the judge. His mother, Mae Dean Daniele, got a small hug from her husband, Bob. The parents would not comment afterward.

Defense attorneys said they plan to appeal the ruling to the Georgia Court of Appeals. That process could take at least three months.

"It's bad when we take a sick, mentally ill young kid and throw him on the trash heap of the adult prison system," defense lawyer Ed Garland said.

He said he would consider a plea agreement, but it would have to take into account Solomon's mental health.

District Attorney Richard Read declined to comment on a plea agreement. He said he plans to take the case to the Rockdale County grand jury Sept. 7, and he may add more charges to the 21 filed against Solomon. …

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