Teen appeals decision to be tried as adult
LISBON -- A 16-year-old Leetonia boy is appealing a Columbiana County judge's decision to have him tried as an adult in the beating of a schoolmate.
Tommy Hart, 16, of state Route 45, filed a notice of appeal recently with the 7th District Court of Appeals.
Hart's court-appointed attorney, Eric Kibler of Lisbon, said in the notice, without elaborating, that he thinks Judge Thomas Baronzzi of county juvenile court improperly allowed Hart to be tried as an adult.
After being bound over, Hart was indicted by a county grand jury on a charge of felonious assault, a second-degree felony bearing a maximum eight-year prison sentence. He has pleaded innocent and is being held in the county jail on $50,000 bond.
Hart is charged in a Dec. 10 beating in a Leetonia High School locker room that injured Nicholas Aratari, 14, of Leetonia. Aratari, who has returned to school, was hospitalized after the beating and had to undergo reconstructive surgery to his face, authorities said.
Judge Baronzzi ordered Hart's case to be bound over to adult court after a hearing that the judge said demonstrated Hart would not be amenable to rehabilitation in the juvenile system.
Had the case remained in juvenile court, Hart, who originally was charged as a juvenile with felonious assault, could have been held until he was 21.