TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - It is a sad trend happening in Lucas County: cases involving teens and violent shootings are on the rise.
Juvenile prosecuting attorney Lori Olender says her office has spent countless hours working on three murder cases at the same time, which is almost unheard of at the juvenile division.
The added complication with violent crimes is prosecutors need to determine if a teen can be rehabilitated in the juvenile system before they turn 21. If not, they will need to be certified as an adult and sent to adult court for trial.
That process is a time-consuming but important job for an office surprised by the extra caseload.
"It just happened out of nowhere that we got all these. One murder, two complicity to murders, we had shootings that luckily didn't result in a murder but are serious enough that we believe they should be certified," Olender said. That has all come since the beginning of this year. It has sort of just bombarded us."
If there is a positive, smaller cases like breaking and entering are down this year allowing the office to put more energy to violent crimes.