By BRIAN BOHNERT
FOR THE COURIER
FOSTORIA — A 17-year-old boy charged in the shooting death of a Fostoria woman last month will be tried as an adult, a Seneca County judge ruled Tuesday.
Garrett N. Brown, whose last known address is listed as Findlay, is headed to Seneca County Common Pleas Court to face charges of aggravated murder, aggravated burglary and felonious assault for the May 21 fatal shooting of Janelle Mauricio, 20.
Brown was bound over from Seneca County Juvenile and Probate Court Tuesday morning by Juvenile Court Judge Jay A. Meyer, a court representative said. Brown’s bond was set at $1.5 million cash with no 10 percent allowed.
Brown, along with Tyson J. Ogg, 18, who is listed as a transient, and Dallas A. Salaz, 19, Fostoria, are accused of breaking into 218 E. Culbertson St. and fatally shooting Mauricio. Her boyfriend, Caleb Barto, 19, was assaulted by the intruders, police said. According to court documents, the suspects had allegedly intended to steal money and illegal drugs from the house.
Brown allegedly shot Janelle with a 9 mm handgun, and Salaz allegedly struck Barto “with great force” in the right shoulder and back area, leaving welts and abrasions on his body. Ogg allegedly served as the getaway driver, court records state.
Fostoria Police Chief Keith Loreno has said Mauricio’s death was caused by a single gunshot wound to the leg in which the bullet “traveled and tumbled” in a way that hit vital organs.
Brown appeared before Meyer last Friday to consider a request filed by the Seneca County Prosecutor’s Office that Brown be bound over to common pleas court. Meyer made no decision Friday, but instead took the matter under advisement.
Mauricio’s father, Freddie Mauricio Jr., said he and the rest of his family were disappointed following Friday’s hearing. The family felt there was little hope Brown would be tried as an adult.
“It feels like a little bit of a weight has been lifted off our chests,” he said, regarding Tuesday’s ruling. “When we were there Friday, it didn’t seem like it was a real possibility. It didn’t feel good.”
Ogg also faces charges of aggravated murder, aggravated burglary and felonious assault. Salaz has been charged with complicity to commit aggravated murder, aggravated burglary and felonious assault.
Both Ogg and Salaz waived their respective preliminary hearings May 29, appearing before Tiffin-Fostoria Municipal Court Judge Mark Repp in a packed courtroom.
City Prosecutor Barb Dibble said both suspects’ cases are scheduled to go before the Seneca County grand jury today. Repp continued the bonds for both suspects at their respective hearings.
The three suspects were arrested by Fostoria police May 22 after an investigation linked the trio to the crime. The initial 9-1-1 call came via cellphone at 11:26 p.m. May 21. The caller reported a break-in at the Culbertson Street residence and the shooting of his girlfriend.
While officers were investigating the scene on Culbertson Street, police learned that ProMedica Fostoria Community Hospital was treating a female with a gunshot wound to the leg. Mauricio died at the hospital.
Barto was treated for non-life-threatening injuries and released from the hospital. Loreno said the injuries were not from gunshots.
Brown is being held at Seneca County Youth Center, where he will likely remain throughout the court process until he turns 18.
For the Mauricio family, the pain of their loss continues.
“Part of our heart was yanked out that night,” he said. “We still have the fake smiles and the fake laughter, but, deep down, we’re still there. We’re still back on that very first day. Thinking why. Something so very senseless took such a lovely life away that meant everything to us. One split-second shattered our entire world.”