A former Mason High School student charged with murder in a group home has been found guilty of involuntary manslaughter.
Lance Tiernan, 18, stood trial in Butler County Common Pleas court this week on charges of murder in the killing of a fellow resident at a Fairfield Township group home last December.
If jurors could not convict Tiernan of murder, they were given the option of involuntary manslaughter or reckless homicide.
Prosecutors allege Tiernan severely beat 16-year-Anthony Parker at One Way Farm on Dec. 19. Anthony died nine days later at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Tiernan was 17 at the time of the attack and is being tried as an adult. The trial started Tuesday.
The prosecution’s case consisted of only three witnesses – Tiernan’s adoptive grandmother, a Fairfield Township police sergeant and a deputy Hamilton County coroner. Prosecutors also played a video of the incident.
Tiernan testified on Wednesday that he wasn’t trying to hospitalize Anthony and didn’t want to take his life.
The defense also put on the stand a former Warren County Children Services worker and three Mason High School educators. Tiernan attended Mason High School while living with his aunt and uncle in Mason. His mother abandoned him in the sixth grade to those relatives.
Tiernan lived with them until last fall when he ran away. Warren County Children Services placed him at One Way Farm Nov. 30 after he was caught for an unruly and truancy charges. His aunt didn’t want him back.
The teachers described Tiernan as someone who was respectful, kind, shy, was a good student and worked hard.
“Lance is probably my favorite student of all time,” said Jessica Krohn, an intervention specialist at Mason High School.
MasonBuzz will update this story