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Mattoon High School shooting

A police car blocks traffic outside Mattoon High School on Sept. 20 after a shooting in the school cafeteria. Suspect Josiah Lyons, 14, is undergoing a mental health evaluation at the direction of Coles County Circuit Court Judge Matt Sullivan. On Thursday, his defense attorney indicated he would see to have the teen transferred to a different detention facility.


CHARLESTON — The defense attorney of the teenager accused in the Sept. 20 Mattoon High School shooting is expected to make a motion to place the boy in a different facility.

At a court hearing Thursday for Josiah Lyons, defense attorney Ed Piraino of Champaign indicated he will file a motion to find a placement for Lyons other than in the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice detention facility.

Piraino also signaled that the psychiatrist, Lawrence Jeckel, who was tasked with completing a mental health evaluation for the boy would be willing to offer testimony that would pertain to that motion.

Previously, Jeckel was granted records of Lyons for his mental health evaluation of the boy. As previously reported, the evaluation will address the possibility of insanity at the time of the incident, whether the boy is a risk to himself or others, and if he is able to understand and help with his case.

Coles County State's Attorney Brian Bower said a different facility would provide different treatment options for the boy.

A motion has not been filed, so a specific request of a facility was discussed during the hearing, which was continued to Feb. 2. Bower and Piraino agreed to this court date during the hearing before Circuit Judge Matt Sullivan, who is presiding over the case.

Lyons, 14, was a Mattoon High School freshman at the time of the Sept. 20 shooting in the school's cafeteria. Another boy, who reportedly was not the actual target, was shot during the incident before the shooter was subdued, according to authorities' accounts. The boy was hit in the upper chest, but it is understood he is recovering from his wounds.

In juvenile court, Lyons is charged with aggravated battery with a firearm. It's a felony offense that could lead to his being held in the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice until age 21.

According to information presented during a previous hearing and from authorities, Lyons started to aim the gun at a girl, but teacher Angie McQueen grabbed him by the arm and the shot hit the other student instead.

More shots were fired into the cafeteria's ceiling before McQueen and Mattoon police school resource officer Kasey Alexander subdued the boy, according to police.

Investigators have not released information regarding a possible motive. Authorities also have not said how the boy was able to bring the gun inside the school.


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