West Liberty-Salem school shooter sentenced to maximum prison term

Emotional day in Champaign County Court after Ely Serna sentenced to maximum 23.5 years in prison

UPDATE @ 12:15 p.m.:

Champaign County Judge Nick A. Selvaggio sentenced Serna to 23.5 years in prison.

Prior to reading the sentence, Selvaggio read a list of people impacted by Serna’s actions.

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UPDATE @ 11:30 a.m.:

The court is taking a 15 minute recess and plans to resume the sentencing hearing after the recess.

UPDATE @ 11:08 a.m.:

Ely Serna spoke during his sentencing this morning.

“Words can not express the guilt,” Serna said.

Serna’s attorney asked the court not to impose the maximum sentence.

Champaign County Judge Nick A. Selvaggio sentenced Ely Serna to 23.5 years in prison. He shot Logan Cole, who suffered serious injuries.

UPDATE @ 10:22 a.m.:

Champaign County Prosecutor Kevin Talebi is asking the court to impose the maximum sentence for Ely Serna, which is 23.5 years.

Talebi said there is “no doubt” Serna’s mental illness was a contributing factor in the school shooting, but said it does not excuse the teen’s criminal behavior.

UPDATE @ 9:17 a.m.:

Dr. Daniel Davis, a forensic psychologist who has met with Ely Serna six times since July, said the teen suffers from “major depression.”

Serna’s defense attorney asked Davis if the the state prison system in Ohio has the kind of access to treatment for the depression disorder Serna would need.  Davis said the state does have access to that kind of treatment.

Serna is said to have attempted suicide last summer, Davis said during testimony.

UPDATE @ 8:40 a.m.:

The sentencing hearing for Ely Serna has started in Champaign County court this morning.

INITIAL REPORT:

The teen who pleaded guilty to charges stemming from a school shooting at West Liberty-Salem High School will be sentenced today.

Ely Serna, 18, pleaded guilty to attempted murder, felonious assault and inducing panic last month. He faces up to 23.5 years in prison.

Serna brought a shotgun to school on Jan. 20, 2017 and shot fellow student Logan Cole twice in a bathroom, according to police. He then fired on a teacher who walked into the bathroom, but he missed, police said. Serna continued into the hallway, where he opened fire toward classrooms.

He then returned to the bathroom, found Logan Cole still alive, had a conversation with him and stopped shooting, police said. He was later tackled and apprehended by school staff.

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