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Published: 2/10/2010

Teen in assault to be tried as an adult

BY ERICA BLAKE
BLADE STAFF WRITER

The teen accused of causing those injuries was certified in Lucas County Juvenile Court yesterday to stand trial as an adult for the aggravated robbery and attempted murder of the 63-year-old victim.

Terrance Brown, 17, is charged with calling a taxi company Jan. 15 and arranging for the driver to pick him up. Using a false name and address, the teen allegedly got into the cab and directed the driver to the back of an apartment complex at 5204 Regency Drive, near Reynolds Road in Sylvania Township.

There the rider beat up Mr. Orwig and demanded money. The robber got away with about $9, Sylvania Township Detective Tina Seney said yesterday.

He left behind a badly beaten Mr. Orwig, who suffered a fractured nose and skull, bleeding on the brain, and multiple stitches on his face. Mr. Orwig, who spent five days in the hospital, is still recovering from the assault, assistant prosecutor Lori Olender said yesterday.

The teenager was arrested several hours after the 7:30 a.m. attack and charged with delinquency in connection with felonious assault and aggravated robbery. Within days, those charges were elevated to attempted murder.

"Once I looked at the photos of the scene and of the injuries this man sustained, the decision was made to charge attempted murder," Ms. Olender said after the hearing.

Certification hearings in juvenile court most often go through two phases: one hearing to determine if there is probable cause that the accused committed the crime and a second to determine if the juvenile would be amenable to rehabilitation within the juvenile justice system.

Because of his age and the fact that he faces an attempted murder charge, only one phase was required to certify the Brown youth as an adult.

During a brief hearing in Juvenile Court, Judge Connie Zemmelman weighed whether attempted murder was the purpose of the teen's actions. Attorney Sam Kap-

lan argued that his client's intention that day was to rob a taxi driver, not to kill him.

"… The plan Mr. Brown had in his mind the day before was all about the robbery of the victim - in this case, Mr. Orwig," Mr. Kaplan said. "The intent was to commit aggravated robbery … and the violence inflicted by Mr. Brown stopped immediately upon the giving up of the money."

After reading other cases dealing with the matter, Judge Zemmelman said that had the victim died, the charge against the Brown youth would likely be murder. The fact that the victim survived shouldn't "render the facts insufficient."

"Clearly the repeated blows to the head of an elderly man by a young, strong man [shows intent]," the judge said. "The fact that he didn't die doesn't make [the act] not purposeful."

The case will next be presented to the Lucas County grand jury. Until then, the teenager will be held at the county jail in lieu of $85,000 bond.

Mr. Orwig was not at the hearing yesterday. A man identifying himself as the teen's foster father declined to comment after the hearing.



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