Grand jury may take up attempted murder case

STEUBENVILLE — The Jefferson County grand jury next week may consider the attempted murder case against Kylar Petteway, 15, after the matter was bound over on Friday from juvenile court to the adult division of common pleas court.

Petteway is charged with the Jan. 12 shooting of three females in the 100 block of North Seventh Street. He was charged in juvenile court with three counts each of attempted murder and felonious assault with specifications of a firearm being used and firing from a moving motor vehicle on each charge.

Juvenile Judge Joseph Corabi had ruled there was probable cause that Petteway was the shooter. The court then conducted a study to determine if Petteway could be rehabilitated in the juvenile system or if the case would be moved to the adult division.

Corabi in his ruling outlined the relevant factors in making the bind-over determination.

Corabi determined the victims each sustained a gunshot wound, Petteway is a member of a gang, was shooting at a rival gang member and was on probation at the time of the shooting. Corabi said prior juvenile court sanctions issued against Petteway indicate that rehabilitation will not occur in the juvenile system. One of the prior charges involved Petteway bringing a loaded gun to a city middle school.

“While (defense attorney Aaron Miller) argues (Petteway) was only 12 years of age at the time … the crime still involves a gun,” Corabi wrote in his decision.

Dr. Thomas Grazley was the court-appointed psychologist who conducted a study on Petteway. Grazley, according to Corabi’s ruling, stated Petteway is not mature enough for transfer to adult court, although Grazley said in his testimony that Petteway is able to understand the legal proceedings against him and can assist in his own defense. Grazley also stated the juvenile could be rehabilitated through additional juvenile programs, and all juvenile-court options have not been exhausted.

Corabi stated 10 factors he had to consider favored transferring the case, while two did not.

“The court must also consider that the act charged is attempted murder, one of the more serious acts with which a juvenile can be charged. The Ohio Supreme Court has determined a juvenile who has committed a major felony may required more time for rehabilitation than a juvenile whose offense is less serious,” Corabi said.

“The court finds that after a full investigation, including a mental and physical examination, after full consideration of the juvenile’s prior juvenile record, family environment, school records, efforts previously made to treat and rehabilitate the juvenile, the nature and severity of the offense and the nature of the act, firing multiple shots from a moving vehicle, demonstrates a complete disregard for human life,” Corabi ruled.

The judge said the safety of the community requires Petteway be bound over to adult court.

Corabi set a $500,000 bond for Petteway.

The grand jury will now hear evidence in the case when it meets on Wednesday.

Miller said he respects Corabi’s decision and he is immediately preparing for trial.

“I understand the judge’s concerns and we are disappointed the matter is not being kept within the juvenile system. We will now have a jury of 12 citizens who will consider the facts of the case,” he said.

Miller said Corabi only considered probable cause but a jury will have to determine guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, which is a higher standard.