14-year-old boy charged in arson case avoids being sent to adult court

Teen is getting psychological treatment

WAYNE TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- A 14-year-old boy accused of setting his home on fire in October was able to avoid moving adult court Friday.

The teen is charged with five counts of attempted murder, aggravated arson and assault. Investigators said he tried to kill his foster parents who were inside the home during the blaze.

In court Friday, his lawyers submitted a true bill -- which is in the same realm of a guilty plea in juvenile court. This way, he could stay in juvenile court, where he would be sentenced next year.

"We were not willing to even take a minimum percent chance," his defending attorney Amy Ashcraft said.

By keeping the teen in juvenile court, his lawyers said it would keep him out of adult prison if convicted.

Ashcraft told the judge Friday the teen has mental issues.

"He definitely has to deal with his anger issues," said Traci Combs-Valerio, another attorney. "That's one of the reason why choosing to keep it here in the juvenile court system was so important to us. We believe that we're better equipped in the juvenile system to help with those issues."

The teen is currently getting psychological treatment. Once he is transferred back to the Columbus area where he is from, his lawyers say his treatment will continue.

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