MERCER, Ohio (WKBN) – A teenager from Sharon was back in court Wednesday morning, accused of shooting and killing his teenage friend last month inside of a house in Sharon.
Sixteen-year-old Christopher Dickson, Jr. is charged with homicide in the shooting death of 15-year-old Tony Kepple last month. Police say the two teens argued right before the shooting.
Although cameras are not allowed in Pennsylvania courtrooms, nearly a dozen sheriff’s deputies were on hand this morning as Dickson appeared for a hearing. The case was moved from Sharon to Mercer because of security concerns.
Inside the courtroom, the young defendant, who is only a high school sophomore, was dressed in an orange jail jumpsuit that was too big for him with the words Mercer County Prison stenciled on the back. He was shackled at his waist and ankles.
Leigh Mike is a family friend of the Kepple family. She said the shooting is taking a toll on both families and the community as a whole.
“You know. A mother lost her child and being a mother myself, I don’t know how I would do without mine,” Mike said. “My son is 13 and he was friends with Tony. He went to school with both of them. It is a tragedy all the way around, and it doesn’t have to happen. There are things we can do to prevent it.”
The hearing for Dickson lasted only ten minutes, and it was ruled that he will be held for trial. Under Pennsylvania law, he’s charged, for the time being, as an adult. It will be up to his lawyers to convince a judge the boy should be tried as a juvenile.
For now, Dickson will remain in the Mercer County Jail until his next court appearance schedule for mid-November.