Serna ruled competent for court proceedings

By Nick Walton -

A juvenile charged in the Jan. 20 shooting at West Liberty-Salem High School has been found competent to participate in court proceedings.

A memo from the Champaign County Common Pleas Court Juvenile Division issued on Monday states Ely R. Serna, 17, was found competent by the court last Friday.

The court will hold a probable cause hearing in the case on June 7.

Serna 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.

A motion to determine his competency was filed on Feb. 1 and an evaluation to determine Serna’s competency was ordered during a Feb. 3 status hearing.

Because Serna’s competency needed 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 were put on hold.

A hearing on Serna’s competency was held on May 5 during which testimony was presented to the court. The hearing was closed to the general public and media at times when testimony was being taken from the authors of the competency evaluations.

Two people were injured in the shooting, including West Liberty-Salem High School student Logan Cole. Cole, who returned to school in mid-February following weeks of recovery from injuries sustained in the shooting, was in attendance for the competency hearing.

By Nick Walton

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.