A 17-year-old boy will be tried as an adult in the murder of an 18-year-old Reynoldsburg woman, despite the recommendation of a court-appointed psychologist.
Licking County Juvenile Court Judge Robert Hoover ruled Jan. 30 that Adrian McGee, who will turn 18 in April, should be tried as an adult in the death of Danielle Michaels.
Last month, Hoover found that there was sufficient evidence to believe that McGee stabbed and suffocated Michaels and left her body near a softball field at Reynoldsburg High School's Summit Road campus in November. That made it mandatory that McGee be tried as an adult on charges of aggravated murder and murder.
He then ordered that a psychological and social history be done to determine if McGee could be rehabilitated in the juvenile system on the remaining three counts against him of rape, kidnapping and tampering with evidence.
Cecil Miller, the court's appointed psychologist, testified that McGee likely is amenable to rehabilitation under the care of the Ohio Department of Youth Services, which would have to release him no later than his 21st birthday.
However, Hoover opted not to follow the recommendation.
"While I certainly do respect Dr. Miller's opinion, I do not agree with Dr. Miller's opinion in this instance," he ruled.
Miller has been conducting psychological evaluations for Licking County's juvenile court for 20 years.
Licking County Prosecutor Ken Oswalt questioned Miller on his findings. Oswalt said it would be a travesty to keep McGee confined for just three years on rape and kidnapping charges.
Ruthellen Weaver, who represented McGee in juvenile court, called four witnesses to testify on McGee's behalf. They called him a "gentle giant" and a "sweet, goofy guy."
"I hope he will be acquitted, I truly do," Weaver said.
A state law requires that McGee remain in the Multi-County Juvenile Detention Center in Lancaster instead of the Licking County jail.