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Prosecutor wants 17-year-old charged as an adult in Ross Township murder case

Prosecutor wants 17-year-old charged as an adult in Ross Township murder case (WKRC)

BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio (WKRC) - There was a hearing on Monday afternoon for one of two teens charged in connection with the fatal shooting of a Ross High School student.

Austin Hensley was gunned down during a robbery attempt on January 31.


A hearing for 17-year-old Zachary Welch was held on Monday in Butler County, but Zachary Welch was a no-show.

His attorney, who filed what is the equivalent of a “not guilty” plea, waived Welch's presence in Butler County Juvenile Court.

Both sides made requests: The prosecution wants to try Welch as an adult while the defense wants to see if his client is mentally competent.

Juvenile Court Judge Kathleen Romans ordered that family members of both the victim and the defendant were not to be photographed.

Zachary Welch is charged with murder, aggravated robbery and tampering with evidence in the January shooting death of Austin Hensley at Welch's home in Ross Township. Hensley died of a gunshot wound to the head.


Sheriff’s officials say Hensley was lured to the home to be robbed. Prosecutors are filing a request to have Welch tried as an adult while his attorney wants the judge to order a competency hearing.

But the prosecution argued that within the past year, Welch had been deemed competent to stand trial in another juvenile court case.

Juvenile Court Judge Kathleen Romans says she was going to delay ruling on the motion pending the outcome of a probable cause hearing.

That would determine whether Welch will be tried as an adult. Outside of court, the teen's attorney countered the prosecution's argument that Welch had already been ruled competent in a previous case.

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