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Murder trial of accused Ohio school gunman delayed indefinitely

By Kim Palmer

CHARDON, Ohio (Reuters) - Prosecutors told a judge on Monday that they had more forensic evidence in the case of an Ohio student charged with killing three other teenagers in a shooting rampage at a rural high school in February, delaying his trial indefinitely.

T.J. Lane, 18, who has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to the murder charges, had been scheduled to go on trial on January 14. Judge David Fuhry in Geauga County granted a joint request by prosecutors and defense attorneys for more time to prepare for trial.

Prosecutors told the court they had recently received a substantial amount of newly discovered forensic material that requires expert analysis before it is handed over to the defense. They did not describe the exact nature of the evidence and no new trial date was scheduled.

Lane, who was 17 at the time of the shootings in Chardon, Ohio, faces trial as an adult. If convicted, he cannot receive the death penalty.

Prosecutors have said Lane confessed to bringing a .22-caliber pistol to the school and shooting people.

The Ohio school shooting was among several shootings in 2012, including a heavily armed gunman killing 20 children and six adults at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, on December 14. Also, a gunman killed seven people and wounded three last April in a shooting at a Christian college in Oakland, California.

Lane is charged with killing Demetrius Hewlin, 16; Russell King Jr., 17; and Daniel Parmertor, 16. He is charged with the attempted murder of Nick Walczak, 18, who was paralyzed from the waist down, and felony assault for wounds to two other students.

Lane underwent months of psychiatric evaluation before his plea was set as not guilty by reason of insanity. His attorneys have told the court he suffers from migraines and auditory and visual hallucinations. Lane's attorneys have asked for the trial to be moved.

(Reporting by Kim Palmer; Editing by David Bailey and Grant McCool)

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