COLUMBUS (WCMH) – A teenager who pleaded no contest to charges he conspired to commit murder at Hilliard-Davidson High School has been sentenced.
John “Jack” Staley III, 17, was sentenced to four years in prison, with 349 days credit, and five years post-release control.
Staley was arrested in October 2016 after another student overheard him discussing plans for a mass school shooting.
He was initially charged as a juvenile but was tried as an adult. Staley’s attorney Steve Palmer said he should’ve never gone to adult court. They now plan to appeal their case.
“We wanted to resolve the case at this level so we could challenge what we believe is the great fault in this case and that’s the fact that he’s in adult court in the first place,” said Palmer.
Franklin County prosecutor Ron O’Brien said because of the seriousness of the crime, prosecutors asked the court to bind Staley for trial as an adult.
“After several hearings and actually the testimony of two psychologists, Judge Jamison concluded he couldn’t be properly rehabilitated or punished in the juvenile system and bound him over for trial as an adult,” said O’Brien.
Staley was 16-years-old when he was arrested.
O’Brien said he was trying to recruit friends to help him with his plan. He also drew a map of the school’s cafeteria, where he planned to carry out the shooting.