Lawyer, psychiatrist say accused Mattoon school shooter needs mental-health treatment

Lawyer, psychiatrist say accused Mattoon school shooter needs mental-health treatment

MATTOON — Two people involved in the case of a Mattoon High School student accused of shooting a fellow student in the cafeteria in September both say he should be getting mental-health treatment instead of serving time in juvenile prison, but getting that done has proven difficult.

Ed Piraino of Champaign, attorney for Josiah Lyons, and Dr. Larry Jeckel, the psychiatrist who examined him, spoke about the case this week on "A Penny For Your Thoughts" on WDWS 1400-AM.

Piraino said he hasn't found a mental-health facility that will take the teen. Jeckel said Lyons is mentally ill and not an inherent criminal, and that the teen needs a "confined space" over the next few years to get better.

The full interview with Piraino, Jeckel and Champaign County Presiding Judge Tom Difanis is below; discussion about the Mattoon case begins about 23 minutes in:

Piraino said he spoke about the case with permission from Lyons' family.

Coles County State's Attorney Brian Bower declined to comment, but he earlier told the Mattoon Journal Gazette and Times-Courier that if Lyons is convicted and behaves himself in juvenile prison, he can be free by age 21.

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