Ohio teen appeals 23-year prison sentence for school shooting

Published: Feb. 18, 2019 at 6:45 AM EST
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An Ohio teenager who shot and wounded a classmate at school and was sentenced to 23 years in prison has filed an appeal for a new sentencing.

Lawyers for Ely Serna said in court documents the trial court judge erred in giving their client the maximum sentence for the 2017 shooting, reported The Springfield News-Sun.

The attorneys said Serna was depressed at the time of the shooting and showed remorse for his actions, and the judge didn't take his age into account during sentencing.

Serna's attorneys also said the judge researched the drug Vyvanse online and determined the teen's psychotic state was due to him voluntarily taking the medication.

"The internet is a source of a wealth of information, but much of it is unreliable," the attorneys said, according to court documents.

Serna was 17 when he brought a shotgun to West Liberty-Salem High School in West Liberty and shot a student twice, leaving him critically wounded.

Serna also shot at a teacher and into classrooms.

He later pleaded guilty to attempted murder, felonious assault and inducing panic. He told the court he didn't have a particular motive or target.

Champaign County Prosecutor Kevin Talebi argued at the time that Serna knew his actions were wrong.

Talebi has declined to comment on the appeal.

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