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Dave Fopay, Journal Gazette & Times-Courier 

Police presence was strong Sept. 21 at Mattoon High School as students returned to classes a day after a shooting in the cafeteria in which one student was wounded.


State-and-regional
Defense to request move for alleged Mattoon High School shooter

CHARLESTON, Ill. — The defense attorney of the teenager accused in the Sept. 20 Mattoon High School shooting is expected to make a motion to place the boy in a different facility.

A court hearing took place Thursday to address the case involving the accused teen, Josiah Lyons. At the hearing, Lyons' attorney, Ed Piraino of Champaign, indicated he will file a motion to find a placement for Lyons other than in the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice detention facility.

Piraino also signaled that the psychiatrist, Lawrence Jeckel, who was tasked with completing a mental health evaluation for the boy, would be willing to offer testimony that would pertain to that motion.

Previously, Jeckel was granted records of Lyons for his mental health evaluation of the boy. As previously reported, the evaluation will address the possibility of insanity at the time of the incident, whether the boy is a risk to himself or others, and if he is able to understand and help with his case.

State's Attorney Brian Bower said a different facility would provide different treatment options for the boy.

A motion has not been filed, so a specific request of a facility was not discussed in the hearing.

The hearing was continued to Feb. 2. Bower and Piraino agreed to this court date during the hearing before Circuit Judge Matt Sullivan, who is presiding over the case.

Lyons, 14, was an MHS freshman at the time of the Sept. 20 shooting in the school's cafeteria. Another boy, who reportedly was not the actual target, was shot during the incident before the shooter was subdued, according to authorities' accounts. The boy was hit in the upper chest, but accounts indicate that he is recovering from his wounds.

In juvenile court, Lyons is charged with aggravated battery with a firearm. It's a felony offense that could lead to his being held in the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice until the age of 21.

According to information presented during a previous hearing and from authorities, Lyons allegedly started to aim the gun at a girl but MHS teacher Angie McQueen grabbed him by the arm and the shot hit the other student instead. More shots were fired into the cafeteria's ceiling before McQueen and Mattoon police school resource officer Kasey Alexander subdued the boy, according to the accounts.

Some sources have indicated that bullying might have been the motivation for the shooting, however, officials involved in the investigation have not released information regarding any possible motive. Authorities have not said how the boy was able to bring the gun inside the school.

The suspect is a juvenile, but the JG-TC has opted at this time to use his name, as his identity has been widely disseminated and already made public.


International
AP
Pope letter details concern over Chile bishop

SANTIAGO, Chile — The Vatican was so concerned about the fallout from Chile's most notorious pedophile priest that it planned to ask three Chilean bishops accused of knowing about his decades-long crimes to resign and take a year's sabbatical — a revelation that comes just days before Pope Francis makes his first visit to Chile as pope.

A confidential 2015 letter from Francis, obtained by The Associated Press, details the behind-the-scenes maneuvering by the Vatican and Chile's bishops to deal with the prelates connected to the disgraced Rev. Fernando Karadima. And it reveals the bishops' concern about Francis naming a Karadima protege, Bishop Juan Barros, to the helm of the diocese of Osorno — an appointment that roiled the diocese, with hundreds of priests and lay Catholics staging protests against him.

Those protests are expected to greet Francis during his visit to Chile, which begins Monday.

Chile's Catholic Church was thrown into crisis in 2010 when former parishioners publicly accused Karadima of sexually abusing them when they were minors, starting in the 1980s — accusations they had made years earlier to Chilean church leaders but that were ignored. The scandal grew as Chilean prosecutors and Vatican investigators took testimony from the victims, who accused Barros and other Karadima proteges of having witnessed the abuse and doing nothing about it.

In his Jan. 31, 2015, letter, written in response to Chilean church leaders' complaints about the Barros appointment, Francis revealed for the first time that he knew that the issue was controversial and that his ambassador in Chile had tried to find a way to contain the damage well before the case made headlines.

"Thank you for having openly demonstrated the concern that you have about the appointment of Monsignor Juan Barros," Francis wrote in the letter, addressed to the executive committee of the Chilean bishops' conference. "I understand what you're telling me and I'm aware that the situation of the church in Chile is difficult due to the trials you've had to undergo."

Francis told the committee that his ambassador, Monsignor Ivo Scapolo, had asked Barros to resign in 2014 as bishop to Chile's armed forces, a high-profile post, and had "encouraged him to take a sabbatical year before assuming any other pastoral responsibility as a bishop."

Barros was told a similar exit strategy had been planned for two other Karadima-trained bishops, but was asked not to share the information, the pope wrote. He said the plan went awry when Barros named the two others in his letter stepping down as military bishop — a development that posed "a serious problem," and "blocked any eventual path, in the sense of offering a year of sabbatical," to remove the three from the eye of the storm roiling the Chilean church.

In the end, Francis went through with the appointment of Barros as bishop of Osorno, 600 miles south of Santiago.

Barros had been a protege of Karadima, a charismatic preacher who ministered to Chile's elite in a posh suburb of Santiago, where his El Bosque parish community produced dozens of priestly vocations and five bishops, Barros among them. Chile's church leadership for years had ignored complaints about Karadima's sexual abuse of minors and only took action after victims went public with their claims in 2010.

Karadima was sanctioned in 2011 by the Vatican, which removed him from all pastoral duties and sentenced him to a lifetime of penance and prayer for his crimes. Chilean prosecutors investigated Karadima as well but dropped the charges because the statute of limitations had expired. The judge handling the case stressed that it didn't collapse for lack of proof.

Some of Karadima's victims say Barros and other Karadima-trained bishops witnessed and tolerated Karadima's abuse and then kept quiet about it. Francis' appointment of Barros has thus been a stain on his oft-repeated "zero tolerance" for abuse, with even members of his own sexual abuse advisory commission criticizing it.

Francis has since defended Barros, saying the Osorno opposition to him was "stupid," unfounded and coming from the left. After the uproar over the appointment, the Vatican took the unusual step of defending it publicly by saying the Vatican's bishops office had "carefully" examined Barros' record and found no "objective reason" to block the nomination.

The Vatican spokesman, Greg Burke, declined to comment on the pope's 2015 letter, and calls and emails placed to members of the Chilean bishops' conference about the letter were not returned.

Asked about the planned protests by Osorno parishioners during Francis' trip to Chile, Burke said the Vatican had "maximum respect" for their right to do so. But he said no papal meetings were planned with the Osorno group, which had formally requested to meet with the pope in July but were told by Vatican organizers that his schedule was already final, some six months before the trip.

Barros said he knew nothing of the pope's letter and repeated his position that he knew nothing of Karadima's crimes. "I never knew anything about, nor ever imagined the serious abuses which that priest committed against the victims," he told the AP.

"I have never approved of nor participated in such serious dishonest acts and I have never been convicted by any tribunal of such things," Barros added.


Notices-corrections
Editor's Note

Editor's note: Due to winter weather conditions, The Southern had an early deadline for Friday's newspaper. As a result, some things, such as lotteries and sports results, will not be in today's edition.


Today in History

Today is Friday, Jan. 12, the 12th day of 2018. There are 353 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Jan. 12, 1948, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Sipuel v. Board of Regents of University of Oklahoma, unanimously ruled that state law schools could not discriminate against applicants on the basis of race.

On this date:

In 1773, the first public museum in America was organized in Charleston, South Carolina.

In 1828, the United States and Mexico signed a Treaty of Limits defining the boundary between the two countries to be the same as the one established by an 1819 treaty between the U.S. and Spain.

In 1915, the U.S. House of Representatives rejected, 204-174, a proposed constitutional amendment to give women nationwide the right to vote. The silent film drama "A Fool There Was," which propelled Theda Bara to stardom with her portrayal of a predatory vamp, premiered in New York.

In 1932, Hattie W. Caraway became the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate after initially being appointed to serve out the remainder of the term of her late husband, Thaddeus.

In 1945, during World War II, Soviet forces began a major, successful offensive against the Germans in Eastern Europe. Aircraft from U.S. Task Force 38 sank about 40 Japanese ships off Indochina.

In 1959, Berry Gordy Jr. founded Motown Records (originally Tamla Records) in Detroit.

In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson said in his State of the Union address that the U.S. military should stay in Vietnam until Communist aggression there was stopped. The TV series "Batman," starring Adam West and Burt Ward as the Dynamic Duo, premiered on ABC, airing twice a week on consecutive nights.

In 1971, the groundbreaking situation comedy "All in the Family" premiered on CBS television.

In 1976, mystery writer Dame Agatha Christie died in Wallingford, England, at age 85.

In 1986, the shuttle Columbia blasted off with a crew that included the first Hispanic-American in space, Dr. Franklin R. Chang-Diaz.

In 1987, Anglican Church envoy Terry Waite arrived in Lebanon on his latest mission to win the release of Western hostages; however, Waite ended up being taken captive himself, and wasn't released until 1991.

In 1998, Linda Tripp provided Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr's office with taped conversations between herself and former White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

Ten years ago: President George W. Bush, visiting Bahrain, said he was cheered by news that Iraq's parliament had approved legislation reinstating thousands of former supporters of Saddam Hussein's dissolved Baath party to government jobs, calling it "an important step toward reconciliation."

Five years ago: The NHL's four-month lockout finally ended as the league and the players' association completed signing a required memorandum of understanding. Miss New York Mallory Hagan won the Miss America pageant in Las Vegas.

One year ago: In yet another aftershock from the chaotic presidential campaign, the Justice Department inspector general opened an investigation into department and FBI actions before the election, including whether FBI Director James Comey followed established policies in the email investigation of Hillary Clinton. President Barack Obama ended the longstanding "wet foot, dry foot" immigration policy that allowed any Cuban who made it to U.S. soil to stay and become a legal resident. Novelist and filmmaker William Peter Blatty, who gave millions the fright of their lives with the best-selling novel and Oscar-winning movie "The Exorcist," died in Bethesda, Maryland, at age 89.

— Associated Press