West Liberty school shooting suspect to appear in court Wednesday

  • Parker Perry
  • Staff Writer
Updated Jan 03, 2018

The suspect in the West Liberty-Salem High School shooting is set to appear in court on Wednesday.

Ely Serna, who faces multiple charges in connection with the 2017 school shooting, will appear in court for the first time in months. He has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

MORE: West-Liberty Salem shooting suspect to be tried as an adult

Serna has been accused of bringing a shotgun to school and firing six shots. Another student, 17-year-old Logan Cole, was shot twice in the chest and survived.

Deputies have alleged Serna also shot at a teacher and then randomly shot at classrooms before he was detained by school staff. Another student was grazed by a shotgun pellet but not injured.

Serna faces several felonies — 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.

READ: $1 million bond for Ely Serna, accused in West Liberty School shooting

Champaign County Judge Nick Selvaggio is set to hear arguments about defense motions. The defense wants the judge to move the criminal case back to juvenile court so an amenability hearing can take place. An amenability hearing reviews a juvenile offender’s likelihood of rehabilitation in the juvenile justice system.

In the motion to move the case back, defense attorney Dennis Lieberman argues proper procedure wasn’t followed before Champaign County Juvenile Judge Lori Reisinger ordered the transfer. Serna had waived his right to a probable cause hearing but did ask for an amenability hearing, according to the motion.

EXTRA: Ely Serna, West Liberty-Salem school shooting suspect, in court

Reisinger found there was probable cause in the case and ordered Serna to adult court without giving him an amenability hearing, according to the motion.

“It is a violation of due process of law for Ely Serna to be denied an amenability hearing,” the motion says.

Champaign County Prosecutor Kevin Talebi declined to comment.