An Akron teen has been bound over to adult court to face trial on multiple counts of aggravated murder and other charges in the slayings of a prominent New Franklin couple, court records show.
Jamal L. Vaughn, who was 14 at the time of the crime, is scheduled for his first pretrial hearing at 1 p.m. Tuesday in Summit County Common Pleas Judge Tom Parker’s court.
In a grand jury indictment handed down Monday, Vaughn was charged with five counts of aggravated murder, two counts of aggravated robbery and one count each of aggravated burglary, grand theft and petty theft.
Prominent area attorney Jeffrey Schobert, 56, and his wife, Margaret “Peg” Schobert, 59, were beaten to death in the early hours of April 2, 2013, inside the master bedroom of their Portage Lakes home.
Vaughn, now 15, is not eligible for the death penalty under Ohio law and a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on juveniles charged with such crimes.
His attorney, Adam VanHo, said he could not discuss the case, citing a court order by Parker that prohibits all parties from commenting outside of courtroom proceedings.
Early last month, Summit County Juvenile Judge Linda Tucci Teodosio held a mandatory amenability hearing to determine if Vaughn was capable of rehabilitation and treatment in the juvenile justice system.
Court testimony in those proceedings showed that Vaughn, who was barely 14 when he was arrested as an accomplice in the crime, has an IQ of 70 with severely deficient reading, math and spelling skills.
However, additional testimony by a court psychologist showed that although Vaughn was getting treatment for depression over the breakup of his parents, no serious psychological or emotional issue could be documented for additional professional treatment.
Summit County prosecutors partly relied on that finding in urging Teodosio to send Vaughn’s case to the adult system.
On March 10, Teodosio issued the bind-over ruling. In her five-page written decision, she said the overriding factor in transferring the case was “the brutal and heinous nature of this crime and the purposefulness with which it was approached.”
Autopsy records and juvenile court testimony showed that a sledgehammer and possibly a brick were used in the slayings.
The Schoberts’ lakeside home was being renovated at the time of the murders.
While Vaughn faces the same penalties as an adult if he is convicted of the crimes for which he was charged (with the exception of the death penalty), he will remain in custody at the county’s juvenile detention center on Dan Street.
Shawn Eric Ford Jr., 19, who was indicted as the principal offender, is scheduled to stand trial Sept. 24 in Parker’s court.
Ed Meyer can be reached at 330-996-3784 or at email@example.com.