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Prosecutors want teens charged in Warren County murder plot tried as adults

Posted at 6:25 PM, Dec 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-18 19:23:37-05

TURTLECREEK TWP., Ohio — Two teenage suspects in an alleged kidnapping, robbery and murder case appeared in Warren County Juvenile Court Wednesday, where prosecutors announced they have filed motions to move the cases to adult court.

Four teens altogether are charged with murder and aggravated robbery in the Dec. 13 death of Mason Trudics, of Centerville.

Two of those teens, a 16-year-old boy from Centerville and a 17-year-old girl from Lebanon, appeared separately in court Wednesday.

Prosecutors announced they have filed motions to have the teens bound over from juvenile court to adult court; a hearing will be scheduled to determine whether or not this happens.

"He's barely 16 years old," said Rob Kaufman, defense attorney for the male defendant. "He's not old enough to drive or serve in the military. He can't even buy a cigarette if he wanted to. Doesn't even have a driver's license. He doesn't have any prior juvenile record... He did not possess, use or brandish a bat or firearm. He wasn't even at the house at the time of the shooting."

Police said Trudics and the four teens planned the robbery and kidnapping of an individual they lured to a house on Oregonia Road in Turtlecreek Twp. When the individual arrived, the suspects allegedly attacked him with a baseball bat and gun. Police said he defended himself, shooting Trudics dead and critically injuring a 16-year-old charged in the case.

Trudics and the 17-year-old girl charged in the case both attended the Warren County Career Center as students.

"Our hearts go out to the families and friends of all involved in this tragic event," said Rick Smith, superintendent of the Warren County Career Center in a statement. "The safety and security of our students and staff is our first priority and we will do everything that we can to support them through this challenging time.”

Both suspects will be held in juvenile detention until the preliminary hearing to determine if they will be tried as adults. Another suspect, 18-year-old Dakota Cox, is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday afternoon. There has not yet been a trial scheduled for the final suspect, the 16-year-old who was shot and critically injured during the alleged attack.

According to officials, the shooter will not be charged in this case.