Last updated: August 24. 2013 7:55PM - 533 Views

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KENTON — On Friday, Meredith Poling turns 21 and will be released from the prison she was sent to after using a shotgun to shoot her mother in the head more than five years ago.A final hearing was held Wednesday in Hardin County Juvenile Court, as required, to periodically review the case and determine whether Poling should remain in prison until her 21st birthday.Visiting Judge Paul Kutscher Jr. ordered she remain in prison for two more days. After that, he loses control of the case.Poling is expected to move out of state to live with a relative, said Bill Kluge, a Lima attorney who represented her. Kluge said he is hoping for the best out of Poling and hopes she makes it on the outside.“Her reports inside the institution was she did very well. She was a great help to other girls in the institution. She was a friend and if they couldn't read well, she would help them,” Kluge said. Poling has told Kluge she wants to continue her college education she started in prison with the hope of becoming a social worker and helping others. Poling was convicted of murder in the Aug. 31, 2006, death of her mother, Michelle Murnahan, inside their Mount Victory home. She was sentenced to the maximum as a juvenile, which is detention until her 21st birthday. Hardin County Prosecutor Brad Bailey was unsuccessful in his attempt to try Poling as an adult where she could have faced up to life in prison. Judge James Rapp of Hardin County Juvenile Court, who later stepped aside from the case, ruled it was possible Poling could be rehabilitated in the juvenile justice system. Bailey appealed the ruling through the Ohio Supreme Court but again was unsuccessful. Bailey was outraged by the crime, which he said her only motive was anger toward her mother for not letting her go to the fair. “I think she may be a sociopath,” he said after her plea last year. Poling became a suspect in the hours that followed the shooting after she told several versions of how she became aware of her mother's death. Her stories included saying she was inside the house but didn't hear it. She then said she was outside and even tried blaming it on someone from the Kenton Coon Dog Trials.One of her friends came forward in the months that followed the murder to describe a plan Poling had to kill her mother. The plan was strikingly similar to what happened, Bailey said.Bailey described the killing as an execution saying Poling snuck up behind her mother with a 12-gauge shotgun, placed it near her mother's head and pulled the trigger. Poling then took steps to cover up the crime by wiping down the shotgun, putting it away with numerous other guns in the house and picking up the shell casing.You can comment on this story at www.limaohio.com.


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