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Teen can stand trial in girl's murder

09/16/03

Stephen Hudak
Plain Dealer Reporter

Medina- A 16-year-old boy charged with killing Medina High School junior JoLynn Mishne was declared mentally competent to stand trial during a hearing yesterday that disappointed and angered the girl's father.

Dustin Lynch also withdrew his insanity plea and officially chose V. Lee Winchell as his lawyer, rejecting the free legal counsel of Jack Thompson, a national critic of violence in video games.

"The kid threw away his only defense," said Mickey Mishne, JoLynn's father.

Mishne, 73, had hoped Lynch would choose Thompson, a Florida lawyer who promised to hold the video game industry accountable for inspiring the death of his daughter.

"I wanted the story of violent video games to be told to spare other parents," he said.

JoLynn, 17, died Nov. 2, after being beaten with a bedpost and stabbed.

In memos to the court, Thompson suggested Lynch was affected by Grand Theft Auto III, a game that awards points for carjackings and kill ings, and by an anti- depressant drug he took in detention.

Lynch's mother, Jerrilyn Thomas, who previously de manded that Judge Christopher Collier appoint Thompson to defend her son, said she changed her mind after visiting with her boy in jail.

"It has nothing to do with video games or Paxil, and my son's no murderer," she said.

Mickey Mishne also was angry the trial was set for Jan. 12, more than 14 months since he arrived home to find his daughter dead in her bed at their home on Poe Road in Montville Township.

"It's not like at the end JoLynn walks back into the room alive and well," he said, glancing at three portraits of his daughter on his mantel. "But this has consumed me for 10 months already."

Lynch, 15 at the time of JoLynn's death, was transferred to adult court by Medina County Juvenile Court Judge John Lohn, who described the boy as "angry, asocial, brutal and self-absorbed."

If convicted of aggravated murder, Lynch would not be eligible for parole until age 46.

Lynch was a chronic runaway who moved into the Mishne house about a week before the killing, invited by JoLynn, who described the small, pale and bespectacled boy as afraid to go home.

To reach this Plain Dealer reporter:

shudak@plaind.com, 1-800-683-7348


2003 The Plain Dealer. Used with permission.
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