Life sentence upheld in fatal Ohio school shooting

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Life sentence upheld in fatal Ohio school shooting
FOR USE AS DESIRED, YEAR END PHOTOS - FILE - T.J. Lane unbuttons his shirt during sentencing Tuesday, March 19, 2013, in Chardon, Ohio. Lane, was given three lifetime prison sentences without the possibility of parole for opening fire last year in a high school cafeteria in a rampage that left three students dead and three others wounded. (AP Photo/The News-Herald, Duncan Scott, Pool, File)
T.J. Lane smirks as he listens to the judge during sentencing Tuesday, March 19, 2013, in Chardon, Ohio. Lane, was given three lifetime prison sentences without the possibility of parole Tuesday for opening fire last year in a high school cafeteria in a rampage that left three students dead and three others wounded. Lane, 18, had pleaded guilty last month to shooting at students in February 2012 at Chardon High School, east of Cleveland. Investigators have said he admitted to the shooting but said he didn't know why he did it. Before the case went to adult court last year, a juvenile court judge ruled that Lane was mentally competent to stand trial despite evidence he suffers from hallucinations, psychosis and fantasies. (AP Photo/The News-Herald, Duncan Scott, Pool)
This photo released by the Ohio Department of Corrections shows T. J. Lane. A prisons spokesman says Lane was moved Wednesday, March 20, 2013 to Lorain Correctional Institution in Grafton, Ohio for the orientation process. Officials will later determine which institution will house him long-term. (AP Photo/Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections)
FILE - In this March 19, 2013 file photo, T.J. Lane is handcuffed by a sheriff's deputy after receiving was given three lifetime prison sentences without the possibility of parole in Chardon, Ohio. Lane's conviction for opening fire last year in a high school cafeteria in a rampage that left three students dead and three others wounded, was voted one of Ohio's top 10 stories for 2013. (AP Photo/The News-Herald, Duncan Scott, Pool, File)
Crystal King, sister of Russell King, wipes a tear as she addresses the court at the sentencing of T. J. Lane Tuesday, March 19, 2013, in Chardon, Ohio. Lane, was given three lifetime prison sentences without the possibility of parole Tuesday for opening fire last year in a high school cafeteria in a rampage that left three students dead and three others wounded. King was one of three students killed. Lane, 18, had pleaded guilty last month to shooting at students in February 2012 at Chardon High School, east of Cleveland. (AP Photo/The News-Herald, Duncan Scott, Pool)
Philip Carter, brother of Demetrius Hewlin, reads a statement on behalf of his mother, during the sentencing of T.J. Lane Tuesday, March 19, 2013, in Chardon, Ohio. Lane, was given three lifetime prison sentences without the possibility of parole Tuesday for opening fire last year in a high school cafeteria in a rampage that left three students dead and three others wounded. Hewlin was one of three students killed. Lane, 18, had pleaded guilty last month to shooting at students in February 2012 at Chardon High School, east of Cleveland. (AP Photo/The News-Herald, Duncan Scott, Pool)
Defense attorney Ian Friedman, left, talks with T.J. Lane during sentencing Tuesday, March 19, 2013, in Chardon, Ohio. Lane, was given three lifetime prison sentences without the possibility of parole Tuesday for opening fire last year in a high school cafeteria in a rampage that left three students dead and three others wounded. Lane, 18, had pleaded guilty last month to shooting at students in February 2012 at Chardon High School, east of Cleveland. (AP Photo/The News-Herald, Duncan Scott, Pool)
Dina Parmertor, mother of victim Daniel, speaks during the sentencing of T.J. Lane Tuesday, March 19, 2013, in Chardon, Ohio. Lane, was given three lifetime prison sentences without the possibility of parole Tuesday for opening fire last year in a high school cafeteria in a rampage that left three students dead and three others wounded. Lane, 18, had pleaded guilty last month to shooting at students in February 2012 at Chardon High School, east of Cleveland. (AP Photo/The News-Herald, Duncan Scott, Pool)
Chardon High School students walk under a large American flag on the town square in Chardon, Ohio Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013 during a memorial march for 3 students killed in a shooting at the school last year. Students walked from the school to the town square for a memorial commemoration. The march ended at the courthouse where 18-year-old shooter T.J. Lane pleaded guilty to all charges Tuesday. He could face life in prison at his sentencing March 19.(AP Photo/Mark Duncan)
A Chardon, Ohio police officer holds a candle during a memorial for three students killed at the high school one year ago, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013. Students walked arm-in-arm Wednesday afternoon from the school to the Chardon town square for a memorial commemoration. The march ended at the courthouse where 18-year-old shooter T.J. Lane pleaded guilty to all charges Tuesday. He could face life in prison at his sentencing March 19.(AP Photo/Mark Duncan)
Chardon High School students and faculty leave a memorial service for three students killed a year ago at the high school Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, in Chardon, Ohio. Students walked arm-in-arm Wednesday afternoon from the school to the town square for a memorial commemoration. The march ended at the courthouse where 18-year-old shooter T.J. Lane pleaded guilty to all charges Tuesday. He could face life in prison at his sentencing March 19.(AP Photo/Mark Duncan)
FILE - T. J. Lane listens during court proceedings in Geauga County Common Pleas Court in this Feb. 26, 2013 file photo taken in Chardon, Ohio. A judge in the tight-knit courthouse community of Chardon, east of Cleveland, will sentence T.J. Lane, now 18, on Tuesday March 19, 2013 on his guilty plea to aggravated murder and other charges. He could face life in prison. (AP (Photo/The Plain Dealer, Marvin Fong, Pool, File)
Defense attorney Ian Friedman, left, makes a point during court proceedings as T. J. Lane listens at the Geauga County Common Pleas Court Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013, in Chardon, Ohio. Lane, charged with killing three students at an Ohio high school, pleaded guilty Tuesday to three counts of aggravated murder and other charges. Lane, now 18, also pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted aggravated murder and a single count of felonious assault. Prosecutors agreed to drop the death-penalty specifications from the aggravated murder counts. (AP Photo/The Plain Dealer, Marvin Fong, Pool)
Nick Walczak, one of three students injured by T. J. Lane, enters the Geauga County Common Pleas courtroom Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013, in Chardon, Ohio. Lane, charged with killing three students at an Ohio high school pleaded guilty Tuesday to three counts of aggravated murder and other charges. Lane, now 18, also pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted aggravated murder and a single count of felonious assault. Prosecutors agreed to drop the death-penalty specifications from the aggravated murder counts. (AP Photo/The Plain Dealer, Marvin Fong, Pool)
T.J. Lane, 17, enters his Juvenile Court hearing in Chardon, Ohio, on Wednesday, May 2, 2012. Lane is charged in the Feb. 27 Chardon High School rampage that left three students dead and two students seriously wounded. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)
T.J. Lane is brought in to court for his arraignment by sheriff's deputies in Chardon, Ohio Friday, June 8, 2012. Lane pleaded not guilty to six charges for a shooting at Chardon High School in February that left three students dead and three wounded. Lane will be tried as an adult. The teen could face life in prison if he's convicted. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)
CHARDON, OH - FEBRUARY 28: Flowers adorn the sign outside Chardon High School in Chardon, Ohio on February 28, 2012. Gunman and student TJ Lane opened fire inside the Chardon High School cafeteria that left 3 students dead and two injured. (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)
Chardon High School students march to the square in Chardon, Ohio for a memorial ceremony for three classmates who died in a school shooting rampage one year ago, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013. The march ended at the courthouse where 18-year-old shooter T.J. Lane pleaded guilty to all charges Tuesday. He could face life in prison at his sentencing March 19. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)
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CHARDON, Ohio (AP) -- A teenager who fatally shot three students in a school cafeteria didn't have his constitutional rights violated when he was given a prison sentence of life without parole, an appeals court said Monday while providing new details about the shooting, including the killer's assertion he was never bullied.

The court ruled unanimously to uphold the sentence handed down to T.J. Lane following the shooting at Chardon High School, in northeast Ohio, in February 2012, saying it did not constitute cruel and unusual punishment. The court also rejected arguments by defense attorneys that the law allowing the 17-year-old shooter's case to be transferred to adult court was unconstitutional.

The three-judge court also ruled that the three consecutive life sentences, one for each victim, were justified.

Lane "did not act on impulse, on provocation, or under pressure from peers or adults," the court said. "To the contrary, he planned this attack weeks in advance before he went to school that day with a loaded gun."

Lane "also brought indescribable pain, grief, and lifelong tragedy to the victims' families," the court said.

Messages were left with his attorneys seeking comment on Monday.

School Shooter T.J. Lane Wears 'Killer' Shirt To Sentencing


The court opinion included new details about the case, including descriptions of Lane's actions the day of the shooting.

"He said he does not have problems with anyone and was not upset with anyone," according to the court's ruling. "He said that no one had bullied him. This was just something he chose to do."

Lane gained new infamy at his sentencing when he wore a T-shirt with "killer" scrawled across it and gestured obscenely toward the victims' families.

Monday's ruling offered more details about a similar shirt he wore under a dress shirt the day of the shootings.

Lane bought the shirt with the word "killer" printed across the chest about a week earlier, the opinion said. He said he wore it "because he was going to be shooting people," according to the ruling.

In interviews with Geauga County detectives that day, Lane said he knew what he did was wrong, the ruling said. Lane "feels terrible for doing it; and he has regret," it said.

Lane admitted to a psychologist that he had lied to another psychologist, Phillip Resnick, about being schizophrenic and hearing voices. He said he also lied about having been sexually abused.

"He said he lied about his report of being a victim of sexual abuse because he thought it `couldn't hurt' to say he was," the decision said.

Lane told the second psychologist, Dr. Lynn Luna Jones, he decided to admit he'd made everything up because, if he didn't, he was afraid "they wouldn't let me change my plea to guilty."

In February, on the second anniversary of the shooting, family members of the slain teenagers said in a lawsuit that the school didn't have enough security and that the alternative school Lane attended didn't properly evaluate the risks he posed. The school district wouldn't comment on the lawsuit after it was filed.

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