Second juvenile to stand trial for murder as adult

LIMA — The second of four juveniles charged with murder and other crimes related to the June 10 shooting death of Lima resident Jayden Halpern was ordered Friday to stand trial as an adult.

Allen County Juvenile Court Judge Todd Kohlrieser said during a morning hearing for Kayrese Garner that the state of Ohio has presented “credible evidence” to support allegations outlined by prosecutors that Garner committed the offenses with which he has been charged.

Kohlrieser said that because Garner was 17 years of age at the time of the offense, and because he meets a number of other legal thresholds, he is subject to a mandatory bind-over to the general division of the county’s common pleas court for further proceedings.

Garner was ordered to be returned to juvenile detention, where he will be held under a $500,000 bond. The teenager’s case will be presented to an upcoming session of the Allen County grand jury.

The bind-over hearing for Garner began Oct. 17 in juvenile court but was continued when videotaped interviews conducted by officers from the Lima Police Department with the six defendants charged in Halpern’s death — two adults and four juveniles — were not furnished to the court as requested by defense attorney Kenneth Rexford.

Kohlrieser on Friday said he had been able to review the interviews “and all other evidence” prior to making his ruling.

Garner is the second juvenile who will face charges of murder, aggravated robbery and aggravated burglary in adult court in connection with the shooting that took place at Halpern’s residence on West Lane Street in Lima.

Bryanna Houston, also 17, was previously ordered to stand trial for Halpern’s death as an adult. The judge ordered Brianna Patrick, 16, to undergo a mental health examination to determine her amenability to being rehabilitated within the juvenile justice system, while a probable cause hearing has not been held to determine the status of Roselyn Thomas-Lewis, 15.

Two adult males, Keion Darden, 18, and Jaquan Glenn, 18, are being tried as adults in Allen County Common Pleas Court on identical charges following their indictments by a grand jury.

In earlier testimony, LPD Detective Steve Stechschulte said the investigation revealed that three males, led by Garner, forced their way into the entryway of Halpern’s house immediately prior to the shooting. Garner reportedly was carrying an air rifle that resembled an AR-15 assault rifle while the two other males reportedly also carried guns. The air rifle was the only weapon recovered by police.

Stechschulte said that when David Halpern, Jayden’s father, saw what he believed to be an assault rifle he fired one shot but his son stepped in front of the bullet and was struck in the back. The 17-year-old boy stumbled back to his bedroom, where he collapsed on his bed and died.

Ohio law permits defendants who were complicit in acts which led to a homicide to be charged, even if they were not directly involved in the shooting.