'Teens charged with murder' rate goes up in Lucas County

'Teens charged with murder' rate goes up in Lucas County

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - The murder of DeAsia Wallace over the weekend brings Toledo's total number of homicides up to 31 for the year. But it's not that number that is as worrisome to the courts and law enforcement; its another number everyone is keeping a close eye on.

Six of the homicide investigations involve teens. Nine teens have been charged for their involvement in the deadly crimes.

Lori Olender, Chief Prosecutor for the juvenile division of the Lucas County Prosecutors office said the number is alarming.

"There is one undeniable fact that every one of these cases except for one has one thing in common and that is guns. And it is quite apparent that the youth of the city of Toledo are armed. Guns are available, they're carrying guns, they are using guns," Olender explained.

So far this year, four teens have been certified as adults. Their cases were moved over to the Lucas County Common Pleas, where these young adults now face sentences of life in prison.

Prosecutors said Deasia Wallace's alleged shooter, Emannual Garner, 16, could be the next teen to be moved into the adult system, as they are working on his certification right now.

Judges and prosecutors in Lucas County said there is nothing they can do once a teen arrives in the Juveniles Justice System facing charges of murder.

They are working together to get federal gr ant money to fund programs they hope will get to teens in neighborhoods, and homes before they ever get a hold of a gun and use it.

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