FILE - In this April 1, 2017, file photo, defendant Ely Serna sits with attorney Dennis Lieberman in Judge Lori Reisinger's courtroom in Champaign County Juvenile Court in Urbana, Ohio. Serna, who pleaded guilty to shooting two students at an Ohio high school in January 2017, could face more than 23 years in prison for attempted murder, felonious assault and inducing panic. (Jonathan Quilter/The Columbus Dispatch via AP, File)

Teen gets 23 years in prison for Ohio high school shooting

May 02, 2018 - 1:15 pm

URBANA, Ohio (AP) — A teenager who shot a classmate in an Ohio high school bathroom has been sentenced to over 23 years in prison.

An attorney for 18-year-old Ely Serna blamed his actions on mental illness. Attorney Dennis Lieberman says Serna believed he was following a deity's orders when he opened fire in January 2017 at West Liberty-Salem High School in West Liberty, roughly 45 miles (72 kilometers) northwest of Columbus.

The classmate who was critically wounded said in court Wednesday that he forgives Serna, but asked that he receive the maximum possible sentence. The judge obliged.

Serna told the court he didn't have a particular motive or target.

Lieberman says psychologists concluded Serna didn't know right from wrong during the shooting.

A prosecutor argued Serna knew his actions were wrong.

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