breaking news

Ely Serna, West Liberty school shooter, pleads guilty

Published: Friday, April 06, 2018 @ 3:52 PM
Updated: Friday, April 06, 2018 @ 4:15 PM

Ely Serna waives jury trial.

UPDATE @ 4:15 p.m.

The family of Logan Cole, the West Liberty-Salem High School shooting victim, released a statement this afternoon regarding suspect Ely Serna’s guilty plea.

Below is the statement in its entirety:

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“We would like to sincerely thank the Champaign County Sheriff's department and specifically the prosecutor’s office for their hard work over the past 14 months. Prosecutor Kevin Talebi and Victim Advocate Alisa Wilson have been very respectful of Logan and our family and have been considerate of our feelings and opinions during this process. 

“We believe that Kevin has made a good decision with regard to the plea agreement. Although we have frustrations with some aspects of the legal system, the results of some of the evaluations done, and the penalties associated with very serious crimes, we believe Kevin and the prosecutor’s office made the best decision given the totality of the developments to date. 

“We would like to say again that we could not be more thankful for the community that we are surrounded by, the support and love of friends and family, and to God for the miracle of Logan’s survival and recovery.”

EARLIER REPORT

Ely Serna, accused in the West Liberty-Salem High School shooting, has pleaded guilty to charges.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: West Liberty school shooting suspect waives right to jury trial

According to the Champaign County Prosecutor’s Office, Serna withdrew his not guilty plea this afternoon and entered a guilty plea to attempted murder, felonious assault and inducing panic.

RELATED: West Liberty suspect asked victim to shoot him, affidavit reveals

Serna could face up to 23.5 years in prison.

Serna shot 16-year-old Logan Cole twice last year, then fired at a teacher before hitting classroom door windows with gunfire, according to a report from the Champaign County Sheriff's Office.

RELATED: Logan Cole remembers West Liberty school shooting one year later

Serna had been charged with several felonies in Champaign County Common Pleas Court, including two counts of attempted murder, three counts of felonious assault, six counts of improperly discharging a firearm, and single counts of inducing panic and illegal conveyance of a deadly weapon in a school. Serna had pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity prior to today’s change of plea.

Sentencing is set for 8:30 a.m. on May 2.

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