COLUMBIANA COUNTY Judge will consider trying teen as adult
The beating left the victim hospitalized and requiring surgery.
By NORMAN LEIGH
VINDICATOR SALEM BUREAU
LISBON -- Columbiana County Prosecutor Robert Herron is seeking to try as an adult a boy accused of severely beating a classmate.
A hearing is set for 8 a.m. Tuesday in county juvenile court to determine if the 16-year-old Leetonia boy will be bound over to common pleas court, which hears adult cases.
It's up to Judge Thomas Baronzzi, of county juvenile court, whether to grant the prosecutor's bind-over motion.
If the motion is granted, it's likely prosecutors would then seek to have the youth, whose name hasn't been released, indicted on a second-degree felony charge of felonious assault, Dane Walton, juvenile court director, explained Friday.
The boy now stands charged as a juvenile with felonious assault. If he remains in the juvenile justice system, the maximum penalty he faces would be detainment in a juvenile facility until he is 21 years old.
If tried and convicted of the same charge as an adult, he faces a maximum sentence of eight years in prison.
The seriousness of the crime and a belief by prosecutors that the boy would not be amenable to rehabilitation in the juvenile system is probably what prompted the bind-over motion, Walton said.
Herron was unavailable to comment.
The boy is being held in the county's juvenile detention facility.
Authorities say the teen, who attends Leetonia High School, assaulted Nicholas Aratari, a 14-year-old freshman, who also attends the school.
The assault occurred Dec. 10 in the boys' locker room.
Leetonia Police Chief John Soldano said the assault was preceded by words exchanged between the two teens. Soldano declined to elaborate on what was said.
The words were followed by blows, resulting in Nicholas' being badly beaten.
He was hospitalized at Salem Community Hospital and has since been released, Soldano said.
Nicholas has had one surgery as a result of the assault and may have others, Soldano added.
"He was beat to a pulp," the chief said. "It was a vicious beating."