A recent verdict made by Judge Guy Reece, II at the Franklin County Common Pleas Court House has created a great deal of confusion while court officials try to break down what the rule itself entails.

On March 24, 2017, a street fight took place on the South Side of Franklin County that resulted in the hospitalization of one man, 71-year-old Homer Wright, Sr., and the ultimate death of another, 53-year-old Homer Wright, Jr.

Because of this, Tyler M. Canny was accused at age 17 of murder and two counts of felonious assault. While he was a juvenile at the time, the case had to be transferred to adult court due to the severity of a charge. When a person gets charged with murder, even if they committed the crime as a juvenile, it results in a mandatory bindover.

The defendant decided to waive his right to a jury trial.  Beginning on May 7, 2018, the case was tried directly to Judge Reece. Over the course of three days he heard multiple witnesses, as well as the arguments of both opposing sides of counsel. Canny was represented by attorneys Joseph R. Landusky, II and Jeffrey T. Stavroff.

Landusky and Stavroff argued that Canny acted in self-defense and that his intentions were not that of mal intent but that he was merely trying to break up a fight between several girls. When the Wrights intervened and approached Canny with their fists up, taking swings at the 17-year-old boy, he responded out of instinct and began to fight back. Later, the younger Wright was pronounced dead.

At the end of the four day trial, Judge Reece found Canny not guilty of all three offenses, but found him guilty of reckless homicide and aggravated assault, felonies of the third and fourth degree, respectively.

Since reckless homicide and aggravated homicide are not offenses that result in a juvenile’s mandatory transfer to adult court, this case will be sent back to juvenile court for final sentencing. This complicated rule in the Ohio court systems has created a lot of confusion, for the sentence he received in adult court transfers back to juvenile court and could be subject to consideration for a lesser sentence.

Read more about the trial in The Columbus Dispatch article here:


The Stavroff Law Firm