Reynoldsburg News

Blacklick teen charged with murder could be tried as adult

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A hearing scheduled Dec. 13 in Licking County Juvenile Court in Newark will decide if a Blacklick teen will be tried as an adult in the murder of a Reynoldsburg resident.

Licking County Prosecutor Ken Oswalt said Dec. 3 he is pursuing charges of murder, aggravated murder, rape, kidnapping and tampering with evidence against Blacklick resident Adrian McGee, 17, in the death of 18-year-old Danielle Michaels.

Her body was found Nov. 18 in a wooded area by the wetlands near Reynoldsburg High School's Summit Road campus.

The campus is in Licking County, which is why the case was referred to the Licking County Prosecutor's Office.

Oswalt said the charges against McGee currently are filed in juvenile court, but that could change after a probable cause hearing Dec. 13.

"The court will hear testimony to determine if there is probable cause for murder or aggravated murder, and if there is, those must be ordered to be transferred to adult court," Oswalt said.

He said McGee also could be charged as an adult for rape, kidnapping and tampering with evidence after an amenability hearing. According to information from the Ohio State Bar Association, an amenability hearing decides whether a defendant is likely to be rehabilitated within the juvenile system and whether community safety requires the juvenile be subject to adult penalties.

Oswalt said the new charges of rape, kidnapping and tampering with evidence stemmed from "a combination of forensic evidence collected and tested and results and examination by the coroner, along with interviews."

McGee is being held in the Multi-County Juvenile Detention Center in Lancaster.

Reynoldsburg Police Chief Jim O'Neill said Michaels' body was found shortly after 5:30 p.m. Nov. 18 by a man walking his dog.

He said McGee confessed to throwing a knife at Michaels, who had a puncture wound in her throat.

O'Neill said at a press conference the day after the body was found that McGee told police Michaels had been with him and other friends Saturday, Nov. 16. According to the chief, McGee told police they were smoking marijuana in Pine Quarry Park. O'Neill said evidence found at the scene indicated Michaels was killed that night in the area near the high school.

According to the complaint against him, McGee is accused of using a knife to force Michaels to have sex with him and keeping her from leaving the area around the high school. Authorities said he tampered with evidence by taking the battery out of her cellphone and throwing both the battery and phone in a wooded area, to keep anyone from finding them, which led to the tampering with evidence charge.

Michaels did not attend Reynoldsburg schools but was taking the district's online classes. Her parents reported her missing the day before her body was found.

McGee is a senior at Eastland Career Center.

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