Competency evaluation ordered for Serna


By Nick Walton - nwalton@civitasmedia.com



Ely R. Serna is escorted from the courtroom by deputies following a status hearing Friday in the Champaign County Juvenile Division. During the hearing, a competency evaluation was ordered for Serna, who is charged in the Jan. 20 shooting at West Liberty-Salem High School.

Ely R. Serna is escorted from the courtroom by deputies following a status hearing Friday in the Champaign County Juvenile Division. During the hearing, a competency evaluation was ordered for Serna, who is charged in the Jan. 20 shooting at West Liberty-Salem High School.


Nick Walton | Urbana Daily Citizen

Ely R. Serna sits with attorney Dennis Lieberman on Friday during a status hearing in the Champaign County Juvenile Division.


Nick Walton | Urbana Daily Citizen

A competency evaluation was ordered for a West Liberty-Salem High School student during a status hearing in the Champaign County Juvenile Division on Friday.

Recent filings in the case of Ely R. Serna were discussed during his second appearance in court, including a motion to determine his competency.

Serna, 17, is facing 13 charges, including two counts of attempted murder and six counts of improperly discharging a firearm at or into a habitation or a school safety zone, stemming from the Jan. 20 shooting at West Liberty-Salem High School.

During Friday’s hearing, Judge Lori Reisinger stated a motion to determine Serna’s competency was filed on Feb. 1. After no objections to the motion were made, Reisinger ordered a competency evaluation for Serna and a hearing on competency will take place once the results of the evaluation are returned.

Because his competency needs to be determined to proceed in the case, action on other motions such as a motion to bind the case over to the general division of the common pleas court are on hold.

During Serna’s initial court hearing, the court ordered him to remain in detention during the pendency of the case.

On Friday, attorney Dennis Lieberman entered a denial on all charges and asked the court to release Serna to his legal custodian. Champaign County Prosecutor Kevin Talebi requested Serna remain in detention reiterating the threat he poses to the community and himself.

Reisinger ordered Serna to remain in detention, citing the public safety, his safety and the significant amount of planning that went into the alleged offense.

Injured student remains hospitalized

West Liberty-Salem High School student Logan Cole was one of two people injured in the shooting and has been recovering.

In a publicly-viewable Facebook post Wednesday afternoon, Cole’s father Ryan states Logan Cole had just gotten out of heart surgery where doctors removed a pellet from his body.

“The pellet was lodged below the tricuspid valve,” Ryan Cole stated. “The doctor felt that it was not safe to try to grab the pellet where it was at. Instead, he decided to hit it with an air blast. The blase of air dislodged the pellet and it moved out to the left pulmonary artery (pretty unconventional thinking by the doctor and we are thankful that he was given wisdom to try this).

“It migrated back into a small branch of the left pulmonary artery where it will stay. All in all, a very successful surgery. The risk of long term complications are much lower where the pellet is now versus remaining in the heart. We are so thankful for the Lord’s hand of protection being over Logan during this surgery.”

Ely R. Serna is escorted from the courtroom by deputies following a status hearing Friday in the Champaign County Juvenile Division. During the hearing, a competency evaluation was ordered for Serna, who is charged in the Jan. 20 shooting at West Liberty-Salem High School.
https://www.urbanacitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/36/2017/02/web1_Serna2.jpgEly R. Serna is escorted from the courtroom by deputies following a status hearing Friday in the Champaign County Juvenile Division. During the hearing, a competency evaluation was ordered for Serna, who is charged in the Jan. 20 shooting at West Liberty-Salem High School. Nick Walton | Urbana Daily Citizen

Ely R. Serna sits with attorney Dennis Lieberman on Friday during a status hearing in the Champaign County Juvenile Division.
https://www.urbanacitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/36/2017/02/web1_Serna3.jpgEly R. Serna sits with attorney Dennis Lieberman on Friday during a status hearing in the Champaign County Juvenile Division. Nick Walton | Urbana Daily Citizen

By Nick Walton

nwalton@civitasmedia.com

Nick Walton can be reached at 937-652-1331 Ext. 1777 or on Twitter @UDCWalton.

Nick Walton can be reached at 937-652-1331 Ext. 1777 or on Twitter @UDCWalton.